A third of managers believe it is better to have workers in the office full time to make sure they are productive and not take too many breaks, a new study says.
Research from freelance service company Fiverr revealed that some managers do not believe in the benefits of having their staff do remote work.
In a survey of 1,000 business leaders and 1,000 employees, 33% of managers believe requiring staff to work in the office allows them to keep a close eye on productivity. Meanwhile, a quarter of business leaders interviewed said office work would help discourage workers from going on too many breaks.
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Managers also see other benefits in working in the office. A quarter of them said it would allow them to use the real estate that they are already paying for. Over 40% of respondents claimed that office-based work provides their staff with easy access to their company’s infrastructure.
Business leaders working for large corporations are the ones most likely to push for their employees to go back to office-based work. Nearly 70% of executives from companies with more than 500 workers said they want their staff to work in the office five days a week.
The disconnect: Employees disagree with bosses on return to office
While business leaders believe in the advantages of monitoring their staff’s productivity in the office, workers – especially top performers – see things a bit differently.
An earlier study by Gartner found that more than half (55%) of employees actually perform better when given a high degree of flexibility with their work. On the other hand, only 36% of those working in the office have experienced the same benefit.
Convincing workers to go back to the office is also going to be an uphill battle for business leaders.
The Fiverr report found that over 60% of employees claimed that they would only return to office-based work if they were offered a salary increase. Meanwhile, 1 in 5 respondents said no incentive could ever convince them to go back to the office.
Interestingly, 42% of workers interviewed said they would even consider leaving for another job if their employer were to compel them to return to the office.
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“Fiverr's survey reaffirms that employees want flexibility and autonomy,” Fiverr Business General Manager Shany Malbin said.
High-performing workers “don't want to be watched by a manager at all times. They do not want to be timed when they are taking a break. It is attitudes like this that are fueling the growth in the number of highly skilled workers turning to freelancing as a full time career.”
According to Malbin, half of the workforce in the US, for example, is expected to become freelance by 2030.
Malbin said employers should consider making their workforces more flexible. Not only will this allow them to keep their current employees, they would also be able to hire independent workers in case they would need them in the evolving workforce.