A Hybrid Work Standoff Is Brewing

By: Anneken Tappe · March 13, 2024 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Employers want their highest-paid employees to come into the office. But workers are hesitant to commit.

New listings for highly-paid hybrid jobs plummeted almost 70% in the fourth quarter of last year, while comparable posts for in-office positions all but doubled, according to jobs platform Ladders .

On the other side of the spectrum, the top reasons workers turned down job offers were mandated days in the office, or no flexible hours, according to a report from hybrid work tech company Owl Labs .

Mismatched Expectations

The sharp increase in high-paying in-office positions could signal that companies are willing to pay up to ensure workers return to their desks. The proverbial carrot could potentially work: Nearly a third of workers said they’d expect a pay raise if they were forced to transition from hybrid to in-person work, according to Owl Labs.

Companies like UPS (UPS), IBM (IBM), and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) are among the companies to make in-person work mandatory.

Even so, some of the pandemic new normal has clearly stuck. Even as companies want to fill offices, workers have learned that the possibilities of flexible work exist and, well, work. If this mismatch leads to workers refusing lucrative job offers, it could take companies back to the drawing board.

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