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Why Are Employers Pushing to Return to Office Work?

Why Are Employers Pushing to Return to Office Work?

July 3, 2024

At CMD Recruitment, we’ve been closely monitoring the shifting trends in the workplace, and one significant change we’ve observed is the push by employers to return to office-based work. This shift marks a notable departure from the remote and hybrid work arrangements that became the norm during the pandemic.


The End of the Remote Work Boom… Maybe?

Our research has revealed a substantial decrease in the number of employees working remotely. According to the Office for National Statistics, the percentage of remote workers has dropped from 38% in June 2020 to just 14% in June 2024. Additionally, 90% of employers plan to enforce return-to-office mandates this year, with 51% having already done so.

However, the trend seems to be towards a hybrid model. A YouGov poll conducted in May 2024 revealed that 44% of UK workers now split their time between home and the office, with another 16% working exclusively from home. This suggests a preference for flexibility amongst employees, even if full-time remote working becomes less common.


Why the Shift?

Our Operations Manager, Dan Barfoot, attributes this change to several factors.  Companies are prioritising the creation of work environments that foster collaboration and address inefficiencies that may have arisen during extended periods of remote working.

In-person interaction is crucial for building a strong company culture and boosting productivity,” says Dan. While remote working has its benefits, a return to the office allows for more effective teamwork and knowledge sharing, especially for less experienced or newer employees.

Dan notes, “There’s a definite change in the landscape regarding remote work. Companies are pushing for a return to the office, reducing previously available remote or hybrid options. I think this is a shock to many who have worked remotely for the past few years.”


Challenges of Remote Management

One of the key challenges companies face is the difficulty in fostering effective team collaboration remotely. Dan points out, “It appears that some companies have over-recruited and are discovering that the easiest way to accurately monitor staff performance is if they are on-site in a work environment.”

Dan also suggests that some companies may have concerns about:

  • Monitoring employee performance: Managing remote teams effectively requires different strategies than managing in-office teams.
  • Maintaining company culture: Building and maintaining a strong company culture can be more challenging in a remote setting.
  • Adapting roles: The surge in remote working during the pandemic may have led to lifestyle changes for employees, making it more difficult for companies to tailor roles to individual needs.

Adapting to New Lifestyles

The pandemic-induced shift to remote work has led many employees to adapt their lifestyles around working from home. This has created new challenges for employers who now need to adapt roles to fit the evolving demands and routines of remote candidates.


Job Market Trends

As of January 2024, LinkedIn data shows that applications for remote roles have doubled compared to the available positions. Furthermore, only 9% of job postings last month were fully remote, a 23% decrease from the previous year.

As we approach the end of Q2 for 2024, we’ve also noted the impact of the upcoming election on recruitment. Dan comments, “The upcoming election is creating uncertainty, which has led businesses to take a more cautious approach.” We’ve observed an increase in candidates at risk of redundancy or currently undergoing the process, happening later in the year than we anticipated, indicating a shift in usual employment patterns.

In the current recruitment landscape, HR, marketing, and internal talent candidates are particularly vulnerable to redundancies as businesses strive to balance accounts and manage costs. However, demand remains high in the tech, sales, and engineering sectors, resulting in significant salary increases—exceeding 20% in some cases—due to a talent shortage.

Dan acknowledges, “Recruitment is tough at the moment, and there is no magic solution. It’s about using a strategic partner like us and leveraging all the data and experience we have to help you fill your roles.”


How CMD Recruitment Can Help You

Whether you’re a job seeker navigating a competitive market or an employer seeking top talent, CMD Recruitment can be your strategic partner.  Our team of experts leverages data and experience to help you find the perfect fit.

“The recruitment process can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be,” says Dan. “By partnering with CMD Recruitment, businesses can gain access to valuable resources and expertise to fill crucial roles and achieve their hiring goals.”

We encourage you to reach out to CMD Recruitment today for a no-obligation consultation. Let’s discuss your specific needs and explore how we can help you navigate the ever-changing recruitment landscape.

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