Need That Money

Balancing Employee Expectations: The Role of Money and Perks in the Transition Back to the Office

As COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to increase, many companies are planning to bring their employees back into the office. While some employees may be eager to return to their familiar office environment, others may prefer to work remotely, either full-time or part-time.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why companies are demanding a return to the office and examine the importance of perks in retaining employees as businesses navigate this transition.

Companies Demand Return to Office

One of the primary reasons companies want employees to return to the office is the social connection that it fosters. When employees work in a shared space, they can collaborate more effectively, build relationships, and share ideas.

But how can companies encourage workers to return to the office when many have become accustomed to working from home, and some may even prefer it? One strategy that some companies are considering is to offer appropriate incentives and value-laden perks.

These may include rewards such as bonuses or additional paid time off, but they could also be more creative solutions that address the specific needs of each worker. For example, offering more flexible hours or allowing employees to work from home one or two days a week can be an effective way to retain staff while still encouraging them to return to the office.

However, some companies are taking a more direct approach and are threatening termination for employees who refuse to return to the office. While this approach may be effective in the short term, it could also lead to a higher turnover rate and may not be the best long-term solution.

Importance of Perks

As companies consider the best approach to manage the transition back to the office, it is important to remember the significance of perks in retaining employees. Incentives and bonuses can provide motivation for employees to stay with a company, but they should not be the only reason employees decide to remain on board.

Most businesses today are struggling with retention over perks. Studies have shown that employees value work-life balance, flexibility, and the ability to grow and advance in their careers more than perks like free food and on-site gyms.

Therefore, companies may want to consider surveying their current and past employees to identify the most effective perks for their unique situation. Flexibility has emerged as the most significant perk that employees desire.

With more people working from home, the line between work and life has become blurred. Therefore, offering flexible hours or the option to work remotely can be a great way to show employees that the company values their wellbeing and is willing to prioritize their work-life balance.


As many companies plan their return to the office, it is essential to consider the preferences and needs of employees. Fostering a sense of community and collaboration is critical, but companies should also remember the importance of flexibility and work-life balance.

Perks and incentives can also influence employees’ decisions to remain with a company, but offering appropriate and value-laden rewards is essential. By balancing these factors, companies can retain their talent and build a successful workplace culture.

Money as a Motivator

Money has always been a significant motivator for employees. It is the primary reason they work hard to earn a paycheck.

When employees feel that they are being paid fairly for their work, they tend to be more motivated to give their best. However, money alone is not enough to motivate some workers.

In some cases, companies that pay their employees well still struggle to retain and motivate their workforce.

The Role of Money in Motivating Employees

Despite being essential, money is not the only motivator for employees. It is important to recognize that each individual is unique and may not be driven solely by money.

Many workers also seek creative fulfillment, work-life balance, autonomy, or a sense of purpose in their jobs. However, having a fair and equitable compensation package remains vital in ensuring employee satisfaction and motivation.

In many organizations, employee pay is based on their job title, years of experience, and education level. Providing regular salary increases can also be a powerful motivator for employees who are looking for career progression and recognition for their hard work.

In addition to salary, benefits such as healthcare, retirement savings plans, paid vacation, and other employee perks can also be appealing to workers.

Salary Cuts and Impact on Office Attendance

When companies experience financial difficulties, salary cuts are sometimes implemented as a cost-saving measure. While this may appear to be a quick fix, it can lead to a decrease in motivation and productivity.

Salary cuts can create a sense of insecurity and uncertainty in the workforce, causing employees to lose faith in the company and its leadership. Salary cuts can also lead to a dip in office attendance as employees feel dissatisfied and unmotivated.

When workers feel that their efforts are not being appreciated, they are more likely to call in sick, take time off, or choose to work from home. Absenteeism can lead to delayed projects, missed deadlines, and decreased productivity.

Remote Workers Susceptible to Workplace Proximity Bias

One challenge that remote employees face is workplace proximity bias. This bias occurs when employees who are physically present in the office are perceived as being more committed and productive than those who work remotely.

The lack of face-to-face interaction and communication can make it challenging for remote workers to build relationships with their colleagues, leading to a sense of disconnection and isolation. Workplace proximity bias can also have an impact on remote employees’ career development.

Remote workers may be overlooked for promotions, awards, or projects in favor of their in-office counterparts. It is essential for companies to create a level playing field where remote employees can be evaluated fairly and have equal opportunities to advance in their careers.

Fear of Remote Workers Being at Risk of Job Loss During a Recession

Remote workers may also feel vulnerable in times of economic hardship, such as a recession. During such circumstances, businesses may need to reduce their workforce to cut expenses.

Unfortunately, remote employees may be at a disadvantage because they don’t have the benefit of being physically present in the office. As a result, some companies may choose to lay them off first before their in-office counterparts.

However, the risk of job loss during a recession isn’t unique to remote workers. In any industry or role, there is always the potential for layoffs or redundancies.

Despite this, companies can take steps to provide job security to remote workers by including them in important conversations and events and making sure they have equal opportunities to prove their worth to the company.


While money is a significant motivator for employees, it is not the only factor to consider when striving to retain and motivate a workforce. Salary cuts can be demotivating and lead to a dip in office attendance, while remote employees can be vulnerable to workplace proximity bias and job loss during a recession.

By keeping employees engaged and valuing their contribution, companies can foster a sense of loyalty and commitment among the workforce. In conclusion, money is a crucial motivator for employees, but it is not the only factor that influences their engagement and motivation levels.

Fair compensation and benefits are essential to attracting and retaining employees, as is providing structure, purpose, and work-life balance. Salary cuts can negatively impact employee morale, and remote workers may be susceptible to workplace proximity bias and job loss during a recession.

To foster loyalty and commitment among the workforce, companies must create an inclusive environment that values employee contributions. With the right strategies in place, companies can motivate and engage their employees, leading to a more productive and successful workplace.

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