In-Person Office Work Will Return, Survey Finds

Don’t get too used to working from home.

Business leaders believe telework won’t be the new normal, according to a new survey.

The Paycor survey of 600 leaders of small- and medium-sized businesses found most employees have been working from home a significant amount of time during the coronavirus pandemic. But only 3% of business leaders said that arrangement is here for the long-term, while 40% said employees will return to the office.

Nearly half of business leaders said their employees have been working remotely, while 38% said the government deemed their businesses  “essential” following them to remain open.


Even though traditional in-person office work is expected to return, 48% said there would be a mix of both remote and office work in their businesses.

Paycor conducted the study to understand how the pandemic affected small- and medium-sized businesses and their workforces, the company’s vice president of human resources, Nathan Peirson, said in an email.

Employee morale has seen a modest drop since Covid-19 took hold, business leaders said. Most said they were communicating more frequently and more transparently to boost team morale. But just 10% said they were using financial performance incentives to buck up their employees.

“A lot of companies were impacted financially from Covid and can’t afford financial incentives to boost morale,” said Peirson. “However, even in strong financial times, it is critically important to understand the underlying causes of low morale and aim to fix those core issues first before offering incentives.”

Paycor provides online human resources software and payroll services to more than 40,000 clients in the U.S. Its top competitors are ADP Workforce Now, Paychex Flex, Paycom and Paylocity.

(Edited by Allison Elyse Gualtieri and David Martosko.)

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