September 12, 2023 | Blog

If You Feed Them, They Will Come


graduates throwing graduation caps in the air

There may be no topic in the news right now more divisive than that of workers returning to the office. Bosses are making ultimatums as concerns rise about what will happen to all that office space if workers don’t come back. While some companies have found a way to meet their employees in the middle, workers still overwhelmingly prefer working from home, and hope to continue doing so.

For their part, employers worry that if they can’t see their employees at work, how do they know they are actually working? Still, many employees believe they can be trusted to get their jobs done and that their bosses trust them as well, according to a recent Envoy survey conducted by Wakefield Research.

Age plays a factor in these beliefs. In fact, 71% of Millennials and 77% of Boomers strongly believe they have their managers’ trust, while 57% of Gen Z feels the same. Bosses aside, do workers trust each other to get the job done at home? Age matters here, too — Gen Z is more likely to trust their coworkers are productive when not in the office (31%) compared to Boomers (17%).

Despite the vast preference for working from home, there are ways employers can lure employees back into the office with minimal resistance. They can appeal to employees’ taste buds. In fact, nearly one in three office workers would go back to the office if their employer offered free meals, according to a Sharebite survey by Wakefield Research. Whether or not they boost creativity, lunch breaks improve the day of nearly all (97%) office workers.

Employers don’t need to provide these benefits out of a sense of altruism either; food or other in-office perks make good business sense. While they can draw workers back into the office, the resulting good vibes can also increase their productivity. Happy workers are hard workers, and employees who feel appreciated are four times more likely than those who aren’t to say employees in their companies are fully engaged, according to a Blueboard survey by Wakefield Research.

At the kitchen table or in an office cubicle, the nature of work is constantly changing, and companies need to adjust (and think outside that cubicle) if they want their employees to be happy, productive, and loyal.

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