If you’re returning to the office in person today, you’re not alone.
This year, over 1 million employees are expected to be called into the office at least part of the week for the first time beginning in September, my colleague Paige McGlauflin reports based on data from research from real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).
“Office attendance, as measured by property management and security firm Kastle Systems, has hovered at 50% in 2023, the highest rate since the pandemic began,” McGlauflin writes in her CHRO Daily column. “If everything goes the way bosses want it to, the post-Labor Day RTO mandates could push that rate up to between 55% and 65% by the fourth quarter of this year,” according to the report from JLL. However, whether all employees will comply is questionable.
When it comes to returning to the office, what do employees want from their employers? I sat down with Vicki Salemi, a career expert for Monster, an online recruiting site, to find out. “Our data consistently shows that workers prefer to work remotely, Salemi tells me. “That may not be 100% remote, but they definitely want the flexibility to know that they can.”
Monster’s recent poll of 6,000 U.S. workers found that 51% said flexible remote work policies are their biggest “green flag,” or positive sign of workplace culture that would make them apply to a job or stay at their job.
However, in some industries, such as financial services, there are companies, like Goldman Sachs, pushing for employees to be in the office five days a week. A Deloitte report, “Cultivating employee engagement in financial services,” finds that strict return-to-office mandates could impact the retention of leaders. Sixty-six percent of leaders surveyed who work remotely at least part of the time said it’s likely they’d leave their current job if their company required them to return to the office five days a week.
So, why would a company make a mandate for 100% in-office work when employees clearly desire flexibility? “It really depends on the company culture,” Salemi says. “A lot of decisions come into play in terms of productivity, morale, and output.”
“Survey: Remote Work Isn’t Going Away—and Executives Know It,” an article in Harvard Business Review, is based on the findings of the Survey of Business Uncertainty, which is jointly run by the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, the University of Chicago, and Stanford. Each month, it surveys senior executives at about 500 U.S. businesses across industries and regions. The July survey found that executives expect both fully remote and hybrid work to continue to grow. “The U.S. is well positioned for remote work, the authors write. “Already, the U.S. has one of the highest rates of remote work of any country, behind only New Zealand and Canada among the 34 countries we surveyed.”
A June Monster poll found that 83% of workers are actively looking for a new job. And that percentage may even increase. Another yearly occurrence post-Labor Day is the “September Surge,” Salemi says.
“Usually the hiring in September is the result of job seekers ramping up their search that was perhaps dormant in August when they may have put their job seeking on pause while they were on vacation,” she says.
If you’re returning to the office today I’d love to hear more about your experience and thoughts—as always my email is below.
Alexander D’Amico, CFO at CytoSorbents Corporation (Nasdaq: CTSO), a critical care therapy provider, has resigned from his position as part of a mutual termination and release agreement with the company, effective August 28. D’Amico and the company have agreed to terminate his employment agreement dated July 10, 2023 in its entirety, and have agreed to customary and mutual non-disparagement and release provisions, payment of specific accrued expenses, and no severance payments or vesting of equity. D’Amico’s appointment began on August 7. Kathleen Bloch will continue to serve as the company’s Interim CFO.
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Morgan Stanley’s E-Trade released data from its monthly sector rotation study. The results are based on the trading platform’s customer notional net percentage buy/sell behavior for stocks that comprise the S&P 500 sectors.
“Amid a cooling stock market rally, we saw traders stay cautiously optimistic with net buying in 6 of the 11 sectors in August,” Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investing at E-Trade from Morgan Stanley said in a statement via e-mail. “Utilities came in as the weakest performer of the month but the top buy on the platform. Traders rotated into the sector and swooped in on depressed pricing. Further, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq ending in the red last month, we continued to see pronounced buying interest in IT.” However, selling in Health care and Consumer staples remained heavy, Larkin said.
“While these are typically considered defensive plays,” he explained, “Utilities is too, perhaps demonstrating that investors are dialing back their bullish stock market views.”
The Sept. 1 report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that the U.S. economy added 187,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate rose to 3.8% up from 3.5%. The industries where employment continued to trend upward include health care, leisure and hospitality, social assistance, and construction. Employment in warehousing and transportation declined, according to the report.
“I think the labor market is near-perfect,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics told CNBC regarding the BLS report. It’s resilient but easing.”
“We believe it’s our unforced hybrid model–a work-from-anywhere policy that truly tapped into some of the most powerful motivators: being heard and valued.”
—Louise Peddell, Undertone’s VP of human resources, (a Perion company), writes in a Fortune opinion piece on finding return to office success. Peddle writes: “Whenever we introduce a policy or program, we always ask ourselves the following questions: Will this program foster employee engagement and well-being? Will this enhance the employee’s feeling of purpose, of being respected and appreciated? Does the success of this policy rely on trusting our employees and do we have the courage to take that leap of faith? For us, the answers were a resounding ‘Yes!’”