Workers Believe RTO Policies Are About Employers Wanting Control and a Lack of Trust

check Fact Checked
My Perfect Resume. [Workers Believe RTO Policies Are About Employers Wanting Control and a Lack of Trust] [March 22, 2024],
Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: March 22, 2024

Our customers have been hired at: *Foot Note

A recent study by MyPerfectResume shows that 77% of workers believe the primary motivation for return-to-office (RTO) policies is so that employers can exert more control over the activities of their workers.

The 2024 RTO Survey, conducted between February 6-19, 2024, with over 4,200 U.S. respondents, made it clear that workers think their employers are pressuring employees to RTO to have greater oversight on how workers spend their time during the work day.

MyPerfectResume’s RTO survey covered the following:

  • How many workers are getting pressure to return to onsite work
  • Why workers believe their employers want them to return to work
  • Worker’s feelings about returning to work
  • Which perks, including unlimited PTO, a four-day work week, and health benefits, could entice employees back to full-time onsite work.  
Create a polished, professional resume in minutes with our free resume builder.

The pressure is on

Onsite work is becoming a priority for more and more employers. Forty percent of participants say that their employer wants to increase office attendance. In many cases, heading back to work isn’t optional, with 28% reporting that their employer has threatened to fire workers who don’t comply.

Workers believe employers have motives for RTO policies

Theories abound on why their employer wants workers back onsite, but most workers believe the motivation centers on having more control over their workforce. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • 77% believe RTO policies are designed to give employers more control over workers.
  • 72% say that their employer believes working onsite will improve productivity.
  • 71% believe the push to RTO is because employers think it will improve communication and collaboration.
  • 64% believe their employer wants them back in the office because they don’t trust people to do their work remotely.
  • 42% think companies want to reinstate on-site work to force attrition without the need for severance packages.
  • 34% say companies demand RTO because leadership wants an excuse not to have to work from home themselves.

RTO Infographic 1

RTO: Workers don’t want to go

Despite pressure and threats of termination, workers don’t want to leave the comforts of their home offices. Only 2% of people prefer full-time onsite work.

RTO Infographic 2

Perks don’t work

As companies increasingly begin enforcing RTO policies, some are offering employees perks, including monetary incentives, to ease the pain of returning to onsite work. However, most workers say not even a higher salary will lure them back onsite full time. The desire to remain in a remote position is so strong that more than a third (36%) of respondents say there is no perk their company could offer to justify a full-time return to the office.

RTO Infographic 2 1


When asked which perks could bring them back to work full time, traditional benefits, like onsite fitness options (28%) and mental health support (28%), captured the attention of less than a third of respondents. Others fared even worse. Childcare reimbursements (17%), socializing opportunities (19%) and student loan assistance programs (25%) didn’t come close to tipping the scales for most workers. 

Even more elusive perks like unlimited PTO  and a four-day workweek didn't impress most employees. When weighing the value of various benefits against the value of remote work, the most compelling perks were fuel reimbursement (50%) and health insurance (47%). Still, neither would persuade the majority of people to return to onsite work. 

Here is how people responded when asked which perks could coax them back into the office full-time:

  • Fuel reimbursement 50%
  • Unlimited PTO 47%
  • Health insurance 47%
  • Free lunches 45%                                                                
  • A four-day work week 41% 
  • A 15% raise 41% 
  • Learning and development budget 31%                                                                
  • Financial wellness programs 30%                                                                
  • Free access to onsite fitness accommodations 28%                                                                
  • Mental health assistance 28%                                                                
  • Student loan assistance 25%                                                                
  • Socializing opportunities with colleagues 19%                                                               
  • Childcare reimbursement 17%     

RTO Infographic 4

Rate this article

Average Rating

5/5 stars with 332 reviews