(NewsNation) — As COVID-19 heath guidance eases, Apple’s three-day-a-week return to the office plan illustrates the growing number of tech giants calling for an end to work-from-home policies.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk told his staff they can “pretend to work somewhere else” following leaked emails ending that company’s remote work policy.
Similarly, Amazon updated its sick leave policies in a leaked memo, ending COVID-specific contact tracing measures in most warehouses.
But does it help companies to demand employees return to office?
“There’s a confidence bias called the proximity bias — a dangerous judgment error where managers and others perceive that those who are near them are more valuable,” Dr. Gleb Tsipursky explained to WFXR’s sister station, NewsNation, on Thursday.
Tsipursky is CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts — a boutique consulting, coaching and training firm that empowers leaders and organizations to avoid business disasters.
“The more time you spend working remotely, the more time you’ll have to work more productively,” Tsipursky said.
In a recent poll, Fortune Forum — a Salesforce-owned Slack Technologies Inc. research platform — found that workers who are in cubicles Monday through Friday say they’re much less satisfied with their job compared with peers with more flexible arrangements.
“They found that the people who were in the office had 35% worse retention. You get a lot more emplyees leaving if they are forced to come into the office and the people who are working more time remotely have higher productivity,” Tsipursky said.
According to Bloomberg, 46% of white-collar U.S. workers have a hybrid work schedule.
Additionally, Apple CEO Tim Cook tells employees they are expected to be in the office Tuesdays and Thursdays, with teams choosing a third day that works best for them.
Meanwhile, Meta has a different take, electing to keep a work from anywhere policy.
The idea of water cooler talks and impromptu meetings entices employers, but demand for labor is at a high, so workers may have leverage in seeking to retain the right to work remotely, at least part of the time.