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People are prioritizing flexibility over salary.
The average person spends about one-third of their life at work. Now that going to the physical office is a choice for many organizations, employers are considering how to make the physical office a compelling reason to come in. This comes with its challenges in a post-pandemic world of remote and hybrid work standards. For companies trying to implement strict rules around in-person work, like Musk’s Twitter, employees are giving serious blowback. According to Owl Labs, if asked to return to the office full-time, 67% of remote workers say they would expect a pay increase to make up for the additional costs. Their concerns are valid—it is reported that in-person workers spend an average of $19.11 more each day than when they work from home due to commuting, food, and clothing/laundry. 46% would stay in their role when asked to come in, but “quiet quit.”
Aspects of pre-pandemic work hours—daily commuting, missed dinners, skipped workouts, and family events—are no longer fathomable for many. Employees established new rhythms of working—flexible in both time and place/physical location. The work-from-home arrangement is so appealing to many that workers are willing to sacrifice up to 5% of their salary to continue working from home, proving that time is, in some cases, becoming more valuable than money. Many workers can be as effective and companies as profitable when working remotely.
The evolving approach to in-person vs. hybrid work is not universal: Europe has more fully adopted a hybrid model, whereas the U.S. is more divided on the matter. In China’s densely populated cities, few are given the choice to work remotely, and most people have returned to the office for at least three to four days a week. In some areas of the world, the idea persists that if others cannot see one working, then one is likely not working hard enough.