Nearly three-quarters of managers, or 73%, said productivity and engagement had either improved or stayed the same with remote work. Only 27% said it worsened. But 60% either agree or strongly agree that a full-time return to the office will take place in the near future. And, 75% want workers back on-site.

Why? They’re concerned about lack of focus, loss of company culture and pressures on productivity. But… 68% believe a fully remote operation would either add to their profit or help keep the bottom line the same.

In its report “The Great Return: Survey of Managers Reveals Return to Office Battle in 2022,” GoodHire found that managers consider it difficult to oversee remote workers, with 69% saying they’re burned out over the tasks involved. That, the report speculates, may be one reason managers are so keen to have in-office workers again. They apparently feel strongly about this: Some 77% said severe consequences – such as firings, pay cuts and loss of promotion opportunities – could be imposed on employees who insist on continuing to work remotely.

One other note: 51% of managers thought employees wanted to return to the office full-time, while 49% were either unsure or didn’t think employees wanted to come back. Only 24% said they would not update hiring/recruiting practices to include candidates outside of specific locations to widen the talent pool, but 56% agreed that they’d be doing so and 20% were neutral.

“The survey results emphasize the disconnect between how managers feel about managing remote workers and the productivity their teams are maintaining in remote-work settings,” said GoodHire COO Max Wesman. Employers need to support their managers and implement appropriate training and tools to  help them “engage with their people wherever they’re located.” Companies that do this will earn dividends in recruitment, productivity, employee satisfaction and retention, he said.

By Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer is executive editor of RecruitingDaily and the HCM Technology Report. He’s written for TechTarget, HR Magazine, SHRM, Dice Insights, and TalentCulture, as well as Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Staffing Industry Analysts. He likes schnauzers, sailing and Kentucky-distilled beverages.


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