Women, high-performers and millennials flee return-to-office policies

Original Introduction to the topic

The debate about whether companies should mandate a return to the office (RTO) for their workers continues, but new studies have found that forcing employees to give up remote work can have negative impacts on employee well-being and retention. For instance, Gartner conducted a survey and discovered that companies that force workers back to the office saw an 8% decline in employees’ intent to stay. This number rose to 16% for high-performing employees and varied across demographics like genders and age groups. On top of that, other studies show that these mandates can also diminish job satisfaction and not actually improve financial performance.

Key takeaways

From the results of these studies, it’s clear that RTO mandates may not be the best approach for companies, as they can lead to decreased employee satisfaction and retention without necessarily improving productivity. Employees, especially high-performers, women, and millennials, value flexibility and remote work, so imposing rigid policies can have costly effects on talent attraction and retention. Instead, focusing on motivating employees to return to the office and establishing flexibility-focused policies may be a more successful strategy for businesses.

It’s also important for organizations to consider other success factors, such as the design of office space and hybrid policies, to make employees feel capable, autonomous, and connected. This means that a one-size-fits-all policy may not be the best approach for organizations to drive success, and a more tailored strategy can be more effective in achieving productive outcomes.


In conclusion, the evidence suggests that mandating a return to the office for employees may not actually yield positive results for companies. By focusing on employee needs and creating flexible, motivating policies, organizations may be able to retain their top talent more effectively and achieve better business outcomes. It’s essential to recognize that the workplace has evolved significantly post-pandemic, and companies should adapt their strategies to align with the changing priorities of employees.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Do RTO mandates actually improve company performance?
A: The data suggests that there’s no significant change in firm performance in terms of profitability and stock market valuation after RTO mandates. Quite the opposite, they may hurt employee satisfaction, as has been evidenced by various studies.

Q: How can companies avoid employee attrition with RTO policies?
A: Instead of rigid mandates, companies should focus on creating motivating environments and flexible policies to encourage employees to return to the office. By designing office spaces and hybrid policies that make employees feel capable, autonomous, and connected, companies can achieve better results.

Q: Can one-size-fits-all RTO policies be effective?
A: The studies indicate that a tailored approach that takes into account the unique needs of employees may be a more successful strategy for organizations. Instead of imposing blanket mandates, companies should consider flexible, motivating policies that address individual needs and preferences.

– Impact of RTO mandates, based on Gartner survey results:
– By demographic
– Impact on high-performing employees
– Effect on employee intent to stay

– Comparison between companies with RTO mandates and those without, in terms of employee retention and satisfaction
– RTO enforcement methods and employee compliance percentages
– Findings from other studies on the impact of remote work on productivity and company performance


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