In the News: More Companies are Calling People Back to the Office. Many Workers Want to Stay Home

September 5, 2023 | Hamilton, ON
Contributed by Jenna Benchetrit, CBC News

As soon as her company told employees they would have to return to the office part time, Amanda Nilsson started looking for a new job.

“When they started mandating three days, I knew the writing was on the wall,” said the senior accountant who worked for a Toronto-based real-estate company. She says she felt it would be only a matter of time before three days in the office became four or five.

“I could understand why they were pushing to bring people back in the office,” said Nilsson. “But at the same time I have to do what’s in my best interests as well.”

More companies are asking workers to return to the office — for at least a few days a week — after Labour Day, citing better communication, increased productivity and a stronger company culture for the shift. But workers aren’t convinced.

After years of working from home, employees like Nilsson are pushing back because they say that the option to work remotely affords them a better quality of life.

“Once a bell has been rung, it cannot be unrung,” said McMaster University human resources and management professor Catherine Connelly.

“And once employees have had an opportunity [to] work from home, they’re going to continue to expect to be allowed to do that in the future.”

Read the full article on CBC News.

Catherine Connelly

Catherine Connelly

Professor, Human Resources & Management, and Research Chair of Organizational Behavior

Dr. Catherine Connelly holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Organizational Behaviour, and is a Member Emeritus of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). She is a former associate editor for Human Relations and currently serves on several editorial boards including the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management Review, the Academy of Management Discoveries journal, and Human Resource Management.

Her research focuses on the attitudes, behaviours, and experiences of non-standard workers (e.g., temporary agency workers, contractors, temporary foreign workers), the effects of leadership styles on leader well-being, and knowledge hiding in organizations. Catherine also conducts applied research with several Canadian organizations in both the private and non-profit sector.

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