Working from home isn’t hurting companies

A new study found no evidence that returning employees to the office would boost productivity.

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Many corporate bosses want employees to return to the office rather than to work from home, but a new US study suggests the benefits are more imagined than real.

The study, Return-to-Office Mandates, looked at S&P 500 companies that had implemented policies mandating workers to return to in-office working.

Return-to-office (RTO) mandates were more common in companies with male chief executives and among poorly performing firms.

Far from it boosting productivity, the researchers found no difference in companies’ financial or stock market performance following the mandates. Furthermore, there were “significant declines” in employees’ job satisfaction ratings.

Overall, the findings suggest managers use RTO mandates “to reassert control over employees”, say the researchers, “and blame employees as a scapegoat for bad firm performance”.


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