Workers With Little Choice in the Hours They Work Are Twice as Likely to Seek a New Job

(p. A11) . . . new survey data this week shows that full-time workers have more work-related stress and anxiety than their hybrid and remote counterparts.

Overall satisfaction with their workplace declined by 1.6 times as much for those working five days in the office compared with the other groups, according to the report from Future Forum, a consortium funded by Slack Technologies Inc., Boston Consulting Group and MillerKnoll.

The survey of more than 10,800 knowledge workers across about 20 industries including financial services, consumer goods and technology, comes as companies have been calling workers back to their desks at a higher rate than at any other time during the pandemic.

The discontent reflected in the data among those working in the office every day highlights risks that companies take by giving priority to face time and in-office culture over worker preferences for flexibility coming out of the pandemic, says Brian Elliott, executive leader of Future Forum.

“We were kind of shocked that it was as bad as it was,” he says. “It’s going to impact people’s tendency to resign.”

Of the workers surveyed, about 5,000 are based in the U.S. The share of those workers who are now back in the office five days a week rose from 29% in the last quarter of 2021 to 35% in the first quarter of this year.

Workers with little to no ability to set their own hours were more than 2½ times as likely to look for a new job in the coming year as those who have some say in when they work, according to the survey.

For the full story, see:

Katherine Bindley. “For Many, the Optimal Workweek Is One or Two Days in the Office’.” The Wall Street Journal (Monday, April 25, 2022): A11.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the story was updated April 22, 2022, and has the title “What if the Optimal Workweek Is Two Days in the Office?”)

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