Return-to-Office Orders: A Survey Analysis of Employment Impacts

Abstract: How did employers expect return-to-office (RTO) orders to affect employment? Were those expectations correct? We use special questions from the Richmond Fed business surveys to shed light on these questions. Overall, RTO orders were expected to reduce employment, but there was both substantial uncertainty and heterogeneity in expectations. Some employers even expected that RTO would increase employment. Ex post, employers believe RTO orders had a muted effect on employment. We find that the service sector was more likely to both issue RTO orders and expect and experience a reduction in employment.

Keywords: return-to-office; employment;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Part of Series: Richmond Fed Economic Brief

Publication Date: 2024-05

Volume: 24

Issue: 16