Employers’ Perceptions of Employees Returning to the Office

What Bosses Really Think About Returning to the Office

How employers perceive their return to the office and their employees’ perceptions of whether they should return varies.

A new Gallup survey finds that 62% of the Americans they surveyed think that a worker will have an easier time performing their job if they do return to the office. Some are concerned that an employee will feel a sense of “burnout,” especially when the employee returns for a few days or weeks at a time while a new employee is being trained. Others worry that returning to the office will be too challenging or too taxing for a worker’s skills. Other respondents express varying levels of tolerance for an employee leaving to return to the office, including 20% who say they would never tolerate an employee leaving for a day or two to return to the office.

A worker who leaves the workplace temporarily, sometimes to take time off to return home or to catch up on errands, is likely to come back to the office often, and, as a result, may face similar challenges and demands. However, because employers are most interested in hiring workers who have strong work ethic and who are good at their jobs, companies must balance their desire to keep their employees on-site with their desire to accommodate workers who return frequently to the office.

Survey Methods

Survey respondents were recruited using phone, online, mail and in-person methods from October 5 through November 1, 2012.

The margin of error for this survey is ±4 percentage points at the national level and ±6 percentage points at the state and company level.

Views on Return to the Office

Of the 4,049 adults in the Gallup survey, 61% say they strongly approve of employees returning to the office after a period of leave due to illness or family needs, while 35% strongly disapprove. Slightly more approve (66%) than disapprove (63%).

By state, 41% of respondents statewide say their approval of workers going back to the office after a few days or weeks at a time is “strongly” or “somewhat” stronger than the average approval, while 24% disapprove and 43% slightly disapprove.

Leave a Comment