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Returning to the office full-time would push many to quit: Survey

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The report found most office workers would like to be in the office three days a week.

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Go back to the office full-time? Thanks, but no thanks!

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Nearly half of Canadian office workers surveyed — 43% — said they’d find a new job if their employer made then return to the office full-time, according to the Amazon Business Return to Office Report.

Only 12% were in favour of working entirely at the office.

The online Angus Reid Forum for Amazon surveyed 1,600 office workers and found that only half of employees who have been working remotely due to the pandemic have returned to being at the office.

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Thirty-one per cent of employees who had returned said the Omicron variant sent them back home to work.

“It’s clear that the role that the physical office plays in the day-to-day work and satisfaction of employees has changed dramatically during the pandemic,” said Nick Georgijev, country manager for Amazon Business Canada. “We’re not going back to how things were before, and businesses need to adjust to the many operational realities that come with that.

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“Canadian employers will need to consider not just how and when to bring their employees back to the office, but if they should … and how to set that talent up for success from anywhere if they don’t return entirely.”

The report found that 57% of workers would prefer to split work between the office and home, and most would like to be in the office three days a week.

“Convincing those workers to change their mind could prove costly, as those polled say salary increases, more flexible work hours, more vacation and better benefits are the top four incentives that would entice them to return to working in-office full time,” the report said.

Hiring new employees also could be a challenge as 55% of those surveyed said they would be less likely to accept a new job if the work was in the office full-time.

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Flexible work hours and the ability to work remotely were more important to office workers looking for a new job than workplace culture, opportunities for growth, advancement or training and development, and in-office perks.

“Employers need to reconsider everything about their physical working spaces to meet the changing demands of their current and future workforce. That includes everything from their real estate footprint to procurement to technology and supplies,” Georgijev said.

“Those that adapt best and quickest will have a strong advantage, particularly if they provide their teams the means to thrive while working remotely.”

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