Collaboration Has Driven Return to Office, but How Is It Measured?

Just after 2022 ended and the new year marched onward, major corporate employers like Amazon, Apple, and Google seemingly had a New Year’s Resolution ready: get workers back in the office. It wasn’t just Big Tech firms either. Other corporate giants like JP Morgan Chase, Citi Bank, and GM announced new policies on returning to the office in 2023. Most of them tightened up their more flexible mandates and asked employees to be in the office more days out of the week. One of the most popular explanations from companies about why they want employees in the office more often revolves around the need for collaboration. Industry leaders across a variety of sectors eulogize collaboration for its ability to lead to innovation. Without it, companies cannot be as productive nor competitive. Many companies argue that collaboration cannot be as effective in a virtual setting, which is the reason behind bringing staff back to the office. 

The mandates have not exactly gone over well with a lot of employees of these companies. In February, just days after Amazon announced it would begin requiring corporate employees to return to the office at least three days a week starting in May, thousands of employees joined a Slack channel to protest the new policy and signed a petition demanding it be changed. The pushback came on the heels of Disney announcing its own return-to-office plan mandating some employees return to the office four days a week. While employers and employees battle it out over back-to-office

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