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40% of Your Employees Would Look for Another Job if Forced to Return to the Office Full-Time

Posted by: Karen Booher on October 20th, 2021

Colorado employers are continuing to be challenged when defining return-to-work policies for their 2022 workplaces. Companies large and small are grappling with the question of whether or not they require their employees to return to work, or continue to offer options for hybrid or remote work.

To help navigate these important decisions, it helps to look at what employees are saying. Following are some interesting and eye-opening statistics from a recent survey of 1,500 US employees by a leading professional services firm, Grant Thornton LLP. The State of Work in America survey questioned employees about what they value – and what companies can do to retain talent.

Some of the Survey Findings

As identified by Tim Glowa, a principal and leader of Grant Thornton’s employee listening and human capital services offerings, “There is most definitely a war for talent occurring, with an intensity unseen in recent years. Our survey finds that workers want flexibility. But ‘flexibility’ does not mean working from home 100% of the time, and physically returning to work does not mean being in the office five days a week.”

“Everyone has a unique set of responsibilities outside of the office,” Glowa adds. “As companies return to the office, it will be more crucial than ever to give people the time they need to take care of what’s important at home.” That may be childcare, eldercare, or even care for an aging pet.

And others without these added responsibilities have found that they are simply more productive working from home without the added distractions of the office. The ability to work from home (even partially) has improved their work-life balance, and they are not willing to give it up.

In conclusion, 40% is a staggering number of employees to potentially lose to other employers offering more flexibility. If even offering the ability to work from home one day a week helped to retain your employees, it might be worthwhile exploring.

One Additional Survey Finding – Flexibility Sought Over Salary Increase

Interestingly, the survey also identified that more than half (51%) of employees say they would give up a 10-20% salary increase for more flexibility in when and where they work.

What’s Important to Your Employees?


  1. Staffing Industry Analysts Daily News, October 07, 2021. “56% Look Forward to Returning to the Office – Just Don’t Force Them Back”.
  2. ASA Staffing Today, 10/11/2021. Business Wire, October 06, 2021.  “Grant Thornton survey: Employees value flexibility over salary increases – one-third looking for new jobs”.

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