Return to the office… pretty please

Companies across the country are trotting out all sorts of new incentives to entice workers to trade in their sweatpants and mid-day naps for office life, per The Globe and Mail.

Driving the news: Roughly 83% of companies in Canada claim they’re adding perks and improvements like free food, commuter benefits, better workplace set-ups, and more social events to get workers to return to the office (RTO), according to a Robert Half survey. 

  • For example, Manulife Financial revamped the lobby of their downtown Toronto office, upscaled the company cafeteria, and even added an in-house barista. 

In addition to making mandatory in-office days more palatable, companies also realize that offering hybrid work is now seen as a right, not a privilege or perk, for many workers. 

Why it’s happening: Even as RTO mandates grow, many employers are finding that getting workers to come back is like pulling teeth (mainly because they really like WFH). Nearly three-quarters of employees who work from home say it reduces stress and improves their well-being. Who’d want to give that up?

  • And threats of firing aren’t likely to sway things–especially since 50% of the working population is looking for a new (probably more flexible) gig this year anyway.  

Bottom line: Companies can cut remote jobs and demand returns all they want, but to get butts back in those ergonomic seats, they might have to give workers a say in deciding what return-to-work plans look like—in addition to snack carts and foosball tables, of course.—QH