A recent survey found that 80% of American companies have plans to monitor office attendance in 2024.
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A recent report states that 80% of businesses will monitor office attendance and 90% will provide incentives for employees to work on-site. The report also reveals that employees who choose not to return to the office may face repercussions.
Most of the companies surveyed intend to utilize badge swipes (62%) as a means of monitoring attendance. Other methods of tracking attendance include manual recording (50%), Wi-Fi tracking (50%), occupancy sensors (43%), or sensors placed under an employee’s desk (38%).
Julia Toothacre, a resume and career coach at ResumeBuilder.com, predicts that companies will experience a loss of their most talented employees once they become aware of the intense level of monitoring. This type of surveillance can create a “Big Brother” atmosphere and lead to excessive micromanagement, which is generally disliked by individuals. Toothacre believes that workers will seek out opportunities where they are appreciated for their contributions rather than just the time they spend sitting at a desk.
In December 2023, the Resume Builder survey surveyed high-level managers from companies with a minimum of 11 employees.
According to the survey, employers are motivated to bring workers back to the office primarily due to increased productivity. In order to entice employees, they plan to provide incentives such as social events (52%), provided meals (46%), and improved office environments (41%). Additionally, some companies will offer additional benefits such as salary increases (40%) and childcare assistance (37%).
Toothacre suggests that providing catered meals is a positive step, but employees would greatly appreciate compensation for transportation, childcare, pet care, and clothing.
According to the survey, 63% of the companies believe that working in the office will have a positive impact on work culture, while 29% believe it will decrease burnout.
“I believe that employers are disconnected from the desires of the average employee in their company,” Toothacre states. “And, unless the companies surveyed have conducted their own internal surveys revealing this data, I would be highly surprised if it coincided. As a career coach, my perspective differs greatly.”
33% of companies plan to terminate employees who do not follow guidelines. Over half (53%) are open to decreasing an employee’s pay.
According to economist Selcuk Eren, businesses concerned about a potential economic downturn may prefer employees resigning voluntarily rather than having to lay off any staff.
Inviting employees back to the office is a potential solution to reach this goal. According to Eren, a senior economist at The Conference Board, this may be the main objective for the company. It is possible that they are aiming for this outcome in order to address concerns about a potential recession in 2024.
A demographic that may be eager to resume in-person work is the younger workforce. According to Generation Lab, a company that analyzes data on youth, 83% of Gen Z employees (those under 27 years old) prefer to have a minimum of three days at the office.
According to Matin Mirramezani, the chief operating officer of Generation Lab, the data suggests that the current generation is likely to have minimal objections to going back to the office. Many individuals are also eager to take advantage of the chance to build relationships with mentors and colleagues.
Based on the survey, the majority of companies do not anticipate employees being physically present in the office on a regular basis. However, 91% of them do expect employees to come in at least once a month, and 75% will mandate weekly in-office work.
Toothacre speculates that this is the initial step to acclimating people to return, with a gradual increase to two and then three days. This is likely the strategy that will gradually unfold in 2024 and 2025.