September 6th, 2022 was the day when many companies have dictated that workers need to return to the office.

Many workers have been remote over the last two years due to the global pandemic. Many have gotten used to work-from-home. Namely less stress and greater flexibility. Now many are being mandated to go back to the office.

Right up there with time off, flexibility is one of the most appreciated employee benefits. It has become an expectation for GenZ and Millennial workers. Recent research showed that nearly two-thirds of employees would forego a $30,000 raise if they were given flexibility over how they did their work.

For the majority of jobs, work is no longer where you go. Work is what you do. The benefits of remote work are four-fold:

1. Workers are happier and more satisfied when given flexibility.
2. Workers save money when they are not commuting.
3. Companies benefit because workers are more productive when given flexibility.
4. Companies save money when workers are not in the office.

It’s a win/win. What’s not to love if you are a CEO?

David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs has expressed worries that remote work could hurt areas of their business and fray the corporate culture.

He shared back in February, “This is not ideal for us, and it’s not a new normal… It’s an aberration that we are going to correct as quickly as possible.”

Unless you were unvaccinated or had an exemption, all Goldman employees were back at their desks in the office today.

Is it about culture or is it about control?

Employers should explain why employees must return to the office, says Yale’s Joanne Lipman. There has to be a compelling reason. And when the reason stops, therefore should stop the rule.

Pollster Frank Luntz says workers are pushing back. Apple has employees petitioning against the move to require employees to be back in the office three days a week. Workers want more control over their lives, including the workplace setting.

He shared with CNBC, “It’s one of the reasons why so many businesses cannot hire the people they want – individuals now have two, three, or four job options, and they’re going to go where they feel their quality of life is not messed up.”

Luntz challenges the old command and control approach from leaders. “It’s all about what you do for the people who you serve… It isn’t about how much money you give, it’s about what you do for your people to make their lives meaningful and measurably better.”