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As managers push for office returns, some plan to penalize workers who don’t buy in

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Most managers believe fully remote work is coming to an end soon — if it hasn’t already — and some say there could be severe consequences for workers who resist the return to the office.

About 60% of U.S. managers agreed a return to the office was expected in the near future, and 75% of managers want workers back in the office, according to a survey of 3,500 managers in the U.S. by employment and background screening company GoodHire. 

The desire to bring workers back comes even as 73% of managers said employee productivity and engagement had either improved or stayed the same compared to the pre-pandemic office. About 69% of managers said they were experiencing burnout with remote management.

Meanwhile, about 77% said there would be severe consequences to remote workers who wish to remain remote, including firings, pay cuts and loss of promotion opportunities. Specifically, about half of managers said they would cut the pay of workers who said they would not return to the office — a move that could backfire as salaries soar in the intense labor market.

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