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The impact of office mandates on talent attraction and retention

Fortune explores Unispace’s Global Workplace Insights report, Returning for Good, to find out more about the consequences of mandates as employees return to the office. From employee sentiment to real estate trends, the return to work affects it all.

Returning for Good,” a global survey of 16,000 employers and employees, finds that 72% of companies have mandated office returns; and almost half (42%) report higher levels of employee attrition than expected. In fact, 29% of companies surveyed say they’re struggling to recruit altogether.  

Fortune highlighted the impact of mandates in action, noting Amazon, for example, which saw pushback from corporate employees after widespread layoffs and a return-to-office mandate. Reports of workers planning to walk off the job show the true price of pushing returning to the office, if you aren’t creating an environment that draws them back in.  

It’s apparent from the study that the issue with returning to the workplace isn’t actually the office itself. 81% of U.S. employees surveyed feel loyal to their current employer, with 34% saying that liking their peers is the reason they stay with the company. Employees reported positive sentiments regarding the office, however these feelings decrease for those with mandated office returns. This reveals that staff are open to returning to the office on their terms, rather than being required to come in as part of their job.  

What’s drawing people back into the office? 
This hybrid, more flexible approach is already prevalent, with the data showing that 50% of workers are in the office four or more days per week. Employees are coming in for social interaction, the opportunity to collaborate with their peers and supervisors, as well as the preferable technology facilities inside the office.   

Hybrid is here to stay… and so is the office. It just looks a little different. 
Unispace’s report points out that, despite an increase of remote working in the past two years, 75% of surveyed global business leaders said they have actually increased their real estate portfolio. Hospitality spaces were part of this space expansion by 44% of companies surveyed, an important talent attraction trend. If employers are going to stay relevant and competitive as the workplace changes, understanding the evolving needs of its employees is critical. 


Read the full ‘72% of companies have return-to-office mandates – but nearly half are seeing attrition spike’ article on Fortune. This article may require a subscription to access.  

Read more about Returning for Good in Fortune.

See more of Returning for Good in the news. These articles may require a subscription to access:

  • The Telegraph: Britain is Europe’s work from home capital – but staff pay a high price 
  • Economic Times: Nine in 10 Indian workers expect to be in office at least four days a week 
  • Raconteur: Does where you work really matter? Google thinks it does 
  • South China Morning Post: Most Hong Kong workers do not want to return to office after working from home, poll finds 
  • BusinessDay: NZ workers are more likely to suffer burnout than in any other country
  • Yahoo Finance: We’re now finding out the results of the mandated return to the office
  • Forbes: In-Office Mandates Attacking Progress And Company Growth, But ‘Big Guns’ Not Backing Down
  • The HR Digest: Remote Work Impact: The Employee Engagement Decline is Causing Panic
  • The Hill: Return-to-office mandates will be worse for federal employment than leaders realize
  • Forbes: Virtual Meetings Up Productivity, Reduce Procrastination, Study Shows.

Download the ‘Returning for Good’ report to learn more about what employees want from the office.