Korn Ferry: Majority of professionals say they will never return to the office full-time, according to Korn Ferry survey

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Los Angles, January 6, 2022 – As organizations navigate an ever-changing world of work, a new Korn Ferry survey sheds light on the thoughts and intentions of professionals regarding returning to the office.

Nearly half (48%) of those polled say their companies are rethinking their plans to return to the office in light of the recent increase in COVID cases and the emergence of a new variant. A fifth (20%) say they have returned to the office, only to be sent back to work remotely.

More than half (51%) of those surveyed say they don’t think they will ever return to the office full time. The same percentage (51%) say that returning to the office will have a negative impact on their mental health.

“This pandemic is and will continue to be unpredictable in the extent of its impact, so employers will need to be agile when considering return-to-work protocols. The best advice is to communicate with employees early and often and listen to their thoughts. on safety and productivity, ”said Elise Freedman, Workforce Transformation Practice Manager at Korn Ferry.

While 64% said being able to socialize with coworkers in the office would make them happy, 22% said it would make them feel exhausted and 14% said socializing would make them anxious.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of those surveyed said they would return to the office now if given a mandate, but 15% said they would refuse to return, even on a part-time basis, and 12% said that they would resign.

“It’s been almost 2 years since the pandemic forced professionals to change course and work from home, and most have gotten used to the new way of doing work,” Freedman said. “One of the best ways to effectively bring back workers is to be flexible about when and how comfortable people are returning.”

The survey also showed another long-term economic impact of employees working remotely, as 59% of those surveyed believe their employers will permanently reduce the amount of office space they have.

About the survey: 791 professionals responded to the survey in December 2021

Survey results

When do you expect to return to the office full time?

January 2022 8%

Mid-2022 19%

Already in the office full time 22%

Never 51%

What would you do if your employer demanded a return to the office now, even on a part-time basis?

Go to the office 73%

Refuse to go to the office 15%

Exit 12%

What kind of impact will returning to the office have on your mental health?

A negative impact 51%

A positive impact 49%

What would best describe your emotions when you are once again able to socialize with your colleagues in the office?

Happy 64%

Anxious 14%

Out of stock 22%

Do you think your employer will permanently reduce the amount of office space they have?

Yes 59%

No 41%

With the increase in COVID cases and the emergence of a new variant, has your business changed its plans to return to the office?

Yes 48%

No 51%

If you have already returned to the office (even part-time), are you now being asked to return to telecommuting full-time?

Yes 20%

No 48%

N / A not in operation 32%

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