There is a significant difference between the perceived and actual employee valuation of in-person work, according to a recent study from NTT Ltd.

The 2021 Global Workforce Report found that 79% of organizations believe employees prefer to work in an office, but just 39% of employees would prefer to work from an office full time. As businesses around the world prepare for a post-pandemic reality, the report analyzed the state of remote and in-person work from an employee wellbeing perspective.

Conducting 1,146 interviews of organization leaders across 23 countries and drawing on the insights of 1,402 surveyed full- and part-time employees, the report found a difference between C-suite and employee perceptions of their organizations’ remote success. Compared to operations staff, CEOs are 20% more likely to believe that their organization is very effective at managing working hours; 28% more likely to believe that they are effective at preventing burnout; and 41% more likely to be very satisfied with their organization’s employee experience capabilities.

This awareness gap mirrors a lack of employee confidence, with just 38% saying that their employer fully values their health and wellbeing, and only 23% saying they are very happy working for their employer.

Underlying the satisfaction gap between employers and employees, the research found a significant degree of diversity in employee attitudes towards their own future working preferences. Voice of the Employee (VoE) data shows that, when offered a choice of at-home, hybrid or in-office working arrangements, employees are relatively evenly split between the three, at 30%, 30%, and 39% respectively.

This finding contradicts the belief, shared by 79% of organizations, that employees prefer office working — when in fact, VoE data finds that just 39% of employees desire full-time office working. The report found that just over half (54%) of organizations had already clearly defined their operations plan for the future.

Read more report insights here.