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A recent employer survey finds that 91% of companies will require employees to go to the office at least once a month in 2024, and 75% will require employees to work from the office once a week. surveyed 800 business leaders in December at organizations where most of their workforce could, in theory, work remotely. The results showed that a softening of the labor market is prompting companies to tighten return-to-office (RTO) policies in 2024 and that nine out of 10 plan to use incentives to boost compliance. 

The leading reasons given for requiring employees to return to the office at least one day a week or month were increased productivity (76%) and positive impact on office culture (63%). 

Of the companies that will require employees to work from the office at least one day a month, 88% will “definitely” (70%) or “probably” (18%) track office attendance. The majority (62%) will use badge swipes to track attendance. Others will track attendance manually (50%) or use Wi-Fi (50%), occupancy sensors (43%), or under desk occupancy sensors (38%). 

Most employers (95%) say employees will face consequences if they do not comply, and 33% intend to fire employees who do not go into the office when required. Non-compliant employees were more likely to see their bonus impacted (57%), benefits affected (54%), or a reduction in salary (53%). 

The vast majority (91%) of companies said they will provide incentives to employees to go into the office. These incentives include happy hours (52%), catered meals (46%) upgraded office space (41%), raises (40%) and childcare benefits (37%). 

Resume Builder’s Resume and Career Strategist Julia Toothacre said Tuesday some of these approaches could backfire on employers. 

“Companies need to provide RTO incentives, but happy hours aren’t it. Compensation is how to get people back to the office,” she said. 

“Companies that become too rigid in their policies will end up losing employees in the long term,” Toothacre said. “Yes, there should be consequences for employees who aren’t doing their job, but time in the office isn’t the only way to track performance.” 

This survey was commissioned by and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish. It was launched on Dec. 13, and 800 respondents completed the full survey. 

To qualify for the survey, all respondents had to work at a company with at least 11 employees and have one of the following job titles: C-level executive, director, president/CEO/chairperson, owner or partner, senior manager, or HR manager.