A recent ResumeBuilder.com survey found that 9 in 10 companies will have returned to office by 2024.

Examples of hypocrisy from bosses who work remotely yet want their employees to be in the office, such as the CEO of Salesforce, led ResumeBuilder.com researchers to wonder just how many workers are being asked to work from the office when their boss and maybe even some or all of their team are not present.

In September, ResumeBuilder.com surveyed 800 full-time office workers who currently work fully in-person or hybrid.

Key findings:

  • 23% of workers forced to RTO say their boss isn’t in the office as frequently as them
  • Of this group, 32% say they are more productive when their boss isn’t in office
  • 33% say less than half their team members come into the office weekly
  • 53% are on video calls often while in office
  • 69% of workers forced to RTO want to be fully remote

23% of workers say their boss isn’t at the office as frequently as them

Nearly one-quarter (23%) of workers say their direct manager goes into the office they are mandated to work from less frequently than they do. On the other hand, 36% say their direct manager comes in more frequently than them, while 42% say they both come in about the same amount.

Of this group, 32% say it improves their productivity by not having their boss there, while only 13% say it worsens their productivity, and 55% say it does not affect it.

Additionally, only 19% say they are bothered by their boss coming in less frequently than they do.

Julia Toothacre, resume and career strategist, isn’t surprised that some workers feel their productivity improves when the boss is out.

“Worker productivity might improve if their boss isn’t in the office for a couple reasons,” says Toothacre. “One reason is that the workers aren’t being interrupted or micromanaged, so they can focus on their tasks. Another reason could be if you don’t have a great relationship with your boss, you might be more comfortable and experience less anxiety if they aren’t there, which can lead to being more productive.”

One-third say less than half of their team is in the office on a weekly basis

More than three-quarters (77%) of workers say they have team members who don’t come in weekly, even though they themselves are required to.

One-third say less than half of their team is in the office on a weekly basis, and more than half (54%) say they have team members who are allowed to work fully remotely.

Perhaps this is the case that our survey found that 53% of workers forced to RTO say they are on video calls ‘a lot of the time’ (36%) or ‘all the time’ (17%).

“Inconsistent RTO and WFH expectations will impact morale if there isn’t flexibility. Some people like going into the office and want that separation from their home, but those people should still be allowed WFH if there are other team members who are already WFH permanently,” says Toothacre.

“There is no point in forcing people back into the office other than to justify paying rent for the office space, especially if most of the team is at home. This kind of inflexible thinking is what leads people to look for a new position. It’s the lack of flexibility that really ruins the morale and culture of a company or team. If the boss is working from home and part of the team, the rest of the team should be given that option as well. There needs to be more fairness and accommodation for all,” Toothacre adds.

7 in 10 workers forced to RTO want to be fully remote

Of workers surveyed, 39% say their boss is the one making them RTO, while 60% say it’s a company policy.

The vast majority (84%) say they want to work fewer days from office than they are currently mandated to, and of this group, 82% (or 69% of the total sample) wish to be fully remote.

Women are slightly more likely than men to say they prefer to be fully remote (85% vs. 79%) as are younger workers. In fact, 94% of women 35-44 want to be fully remote.


This survey was commissioned by ResumeBuilder.com and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish. It was launched on September 21, 2023, and 800 respondents completed the full survey.

To qualify for the survey all participants had to be employed for wages full-time with at least 11 employees at their company. All respondents were screened to include only those with a career in an office/corporate environment.

To avoid bias Pollfish employs Random Device Engagement (RDE) to ensure both random and organic surveying. Learn more about Pollfish’s survey methodology or contact [email protected] for more information.