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Will the Office Market Bounce Back? There’s a New Twist

As the office market decides how and when employees will return, the employees themselves may pose an unexpected challenge: 39% say they’ll quit if forced back full-time.

NEW YORK – As companies prepare to start calling employees to return to work in person, a survey found that many workers say they’ll refuse to return to the office. That could have ramifications for the commercial office market.

Of 1,000 nationwide employees polled by Morning Consult, a study commissioned by Bloomberg, 39% said they would consider leaving their jobs if bosses aren’t flexible about remote work or working from home. Younger workers were least likely to want to return in person, according to the survey: 49% of millennial and Generation Z workers felt the strongest on the topic.

Tech firms leading return to the office

A survey conducted last month by realtor.com of nearly 4,000 U.S. adults showed that almost 60% of new homeowners who purchased in the last 12 months work from home, and 62% prefer to continue working remotely. Many respondents said they’d look for a new job if they had to return to the office in person full-time.

More employees want to continue with remote work at least part of the week. A JLL survey of 2,000 international workers found that 72% want to remain home more during the workweek. Only about a quarter of respondents said they wanted to work from the office full-time.

WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani sparked criticism online recently when he said the “least engaged” workers are the ones who want to continue to work remotely. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon added to that, saying that working from home doesn’t work for people “who want to hustle.”

As the rollout of vaccines has started to reach milestones around the country, many companies have considered bringing back workers earlier than they originally suggested.

Source: “39% of Workers Willing to Quit if Remote Work Not Allowed: Survey,” Commercial Observer (June 1, 2021)

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