Slack survey reveals remote work disconnect

A survey of global knowledge workers backed by Slack has found that of those currently working remotely, executives are nearly three times more likely than non-executive employees to want to return to the office full-time.

Future Forum, a consortium launched by Slack to help companies reimagine work in the new digital-first workplace, carried out the global study: ‘The Great Executive-Employee Disconnect.’

Overall, the study found that the vast majority (76 percent) of employees did not want to return to full-time office work. The divide between executive and employee preferences is flagged as a concern, since most executives (66 percent) say they are designing their companies’ ‘post-pandemic’ workforce policies with little to no direct input from employees.

The research found that desire for flexible work policies is strongest among employees of colour, and the study shows promising but fragile improvement in employee experience scores for black knowledge workers.

The Future Forum Pulse is published quarterly and is based on a survey of more than 10,000 knowledge workers in the US, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the UK.

Data from the four Pulse reports released over the past year indicate that employees’ desire for flexible work has remained consistent, and a growing number of employees are willing to vote with their feet to retain this flexibility. 57 percent of knowledge workers are open to looking for a new job in the next year, up slightly from three months ago.

Brian Elliott, executive leader of the Future Forum, said: “The view of the office looks different from the top. While executives are banging down the door to get back to their corner offices, non-executive employees are demanding flexibility in where and when they work. Companies must do more to bridge this gap in order to attract and retain top talent.”

More information can also be found in the full Future Forum Pulse report.