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Firm Management

Work From Home or Return to the Office? A Rift is Emerging Among U.S. Workers

Many in-office workers think they should be paid more than their colleagues who work from home, survey reveals.

By Alex Tanzi, Bloomberg News (TNS)

Tensions are brewing at work between employees who have returned to the office and those who’ve continued to work from home, according to a survey of U.S. workers.

Almost three-quarters of respondents said companies should pay in-office employees more than their work-from-home colleagues, and two-thirds are concerned that managers view full-time remote workers as lazier, according to the survey of 3,500 people commissioned by GoodHire, a firm that performs employment background checks.

At the same time, a third of respondents are willing to quit their job or start looking for a new one if forced to return to the office full-time. That share is down from last year, underscoring growing pressures in workplaces. A majority think that work-from-home employees will be more at risk to lose their jobs in a downturn.

Both camps agree on one important matter: Working remotely will probably hamper their career.

“There are several data points in the survey that show there may be a potential for a growing conflict among these two groups,” Max Wesman, chief operating officer at GoodHire, said in an emailed statement. Still, “each supports the general idea that in-office workers will enjoy more benefits and career opportunities than their remote-worker counterparts.”

Many corporations, especially banks, have taken a harder line on getting employees back to the office at least part-time. But data show there’s still a long way to go, particularly in big cities where many are still working remotely at least a few days during the week.

The GoodHire poll shows that a majority of workers feel that, while they might prefer remote work, they believe that their careers will suffer. Almost 6 in 10 worried that they would be excluded from important team meetings and projects if they’re not consistently in the office.


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