After two years of COVID-19 lockdowns, the question about return-to-office life has led to a standoff between employees and CEOs.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

More than half of employees sought new jobs with remote flexibility in March 2022. Their top reasons are higher wages, better work-life balance, and better mental health.

However, one CEO is not happy. In late May, Musk sent an email to all of the employees at the company, telling them to get back to their desks or be fired.

From factory workers to senior executives,Tesla now expects employees to clock at least 40 hours a week in the office.

While telecommuting became somewhat of a corporate experiment in 2020, surveys show that it has worked for Americans for many years.

Return-to-Office Life at Tesla

The company isn’t renowned for delivering work-life balance, but life as aTesla employee definitely has its perks.

The 40-hour minimum work week shed light on the working conditions for office roles, but factory workers have long suffered from Musk’s policies.

When the Chinese government ordered a six-week shut down in Shanghai in April, the Gigafactory 3 plant continued operations, with employees working 12-hour shifts with one day off per week. The factory in Shanghai was open for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The factory workers in California were ordered to work 60 hours a week by Musk.

The battle over remote work is only made worse by Musk’s workplace culture and policies.

The Great Debate: WFH vs. RTO

1655946545 499 Elon Musk has reportedly declared that remote work is no - Home Office 4US
From factory workers to top senior executives, Elon Musk now expects employees to clock at least 40 hours weekly in the office again.

The CEOs of other companies have spoken against his policies, claiming that facetime isn’t as important as it used to be Other CEOs believe office culture does a better job of fostering creativity and collaboration than Musk thinks.

Employees want more time for the things that matter. There are six factors that highlight the benefits of remote or hybrid work.

1. Productivity

Companies didn’t know how well their employees would work from home. 77% of workers reported greater productivity off-site, as people proved they had adapted.

According to the Airtasker survey, remote employees work more days than office workers every year. According to the survey, remote workers lost 27 minutes to distraction every workday, whereas office workers only lost 37 minutes.

The highest worker engagement can be found in companies that allow employees to work remotely three to four days a week.

2. Profitability

Many businesses were worried that telecommuting would affect their profit margins.

Approximately 85% of employees aren’t engaged in their work, which results in increased distraction, job dissatisfaction and reduced revenue for the company There is an average $600 billion loss in revenue due to workplace distraction every year. As employees transitioned to work-from- home, there was less interruption and increased earnings.

Companies can save money by using a remote workforce. Several businesses can reduce operating expenses.

Remote workers have more time to care for their mental and physical health which helps lower health care costs. It’s possible for companies to cut back on travel expenses by using videoconferencing platforms.

3. Mental Health

Toxic workplace, poor leadership and long commute are associated with increased stress and depression, but after two years of working from home, a majority of employees believe remote work has improved their mental well-being.

Employees can set better boundaries while making more time for exercising, hobbies, and spending time with their family and friends if they are removed from the pressures and challenges of office culture.

As more people head back to the office, 49% anticipate a decline in mental health, while 36% of those who have returned have already experienced the negative impacts.

Telecommuting has been good for people who feel overwhelmed by the office. Introverts prefer a hybrid setup for at least some social interaction and remote work allows them to be more in control of their environment and emotions.

1655946545 57 Elon Musk has reportedly declared that remote work is no - Home Office 4US
Remote working may be coming to an end for Elon Musk employees.

4. Enhances Talent Pool

Many businesses are reeling from the mass exodus of employees looking to sustain their remote working conditions CEOs implementing RTO policies are missing out on a chance to acquire top talent who would otherwise be limited by geography.

70% of job-seekers say remote flexibility is a priority when accepting a job offer. Companies that want to increase their workforce should expand their talent pool to reach out to prospective employees from other regions.

Studies show that businesses benefit from a 2.3 times higher profit per employee.

5. Work-Life Balance

Before COVID-19, work-life balance was not unusual, with long commute to and from the office, and little time for home life and personal interests.

In a report by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are various estimates for American work commute.

  • The average one-way commute for working Americans was the highest it had ever been at 27.6 minutes.
  • About 9.8% of workers commuted over 60 minutes one-way in 2019 — an increase of 1.9% in 2006.
  • Nearly 57% of workers start their commutes between 6 a.m. and 8:29 a.m., with the majority leaving no later than 6:29 a.m.

It’s shocking that 17.9% of New Yorkers commuted over one hour one way before the epidemic.

Since COVID-19 swept across the globe, driving to work has become a thing of the past. More than half of remote employees claim to have better work-life balance than they did before the H1N1 epidemic.

6. Collaboration

Two-thirds of senior managers want employees on-site, but companies who call for full-time RTO risk losing essential individuals who make up a thriving workforce.

There are a few questions raised by the push for on-site work. Employers are either old school in their thinking or want to gain control over their employees again. Does working in an office have advantages that remote work cannot?

Many CEOs claim that collaboration and creativity are lacking with the use of virtual meetings. Speaking through a computer screen is not as good as face-to-face interactions and impromptu chats in an elevator.

A hybrid work setup of two or three days a week in the office is the best solution for employees and managers. According to a recent Gallup poll, the future of work is hybrid. A majority of employees prefer mixed work, which will help boost engagement and collaboration before employees reach the same level of burnout felt before the Pandemic.

A Workforce Forever Changed

Although it may not be a bad thing, the workforce will never be the same as before, even if Musk doesn’t like it. Companies that modify their workweek to meet the demand for remote flexibility will reap the benefits.

What do you think about Musk possibly shutting down his remote work at the company? Do you agree or disagree with Musk’s actions? What do you think is the best way to work from home? Please let us know what you think on the social media pages listed below. By joining the MeWe social network you can comment on our page.

Last update on June 22, 2022.

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