It’s back to school time so inevitably, the national press is reporting on a so-called trend of employers trying to coerce, cajole, encourage employees to come back to the office.

In some industries and locations, it is working. But in Connecticut, it’s more of a mixed bag.

Indeed, I commented about this in this week’s Hartford Business Journal.

Shipman & Goodwin Attorney Daniel Schwartz said that remote and hybrid work are here to stay. “The fight for talent is so tough right now, that employers are reluctant to impose any set of rules that might turn off a prospective hire, or encourage employees to leave,” Schwartz said. “I don’t see a significant change coming to the flexible office.”

I went on to note:

“If you’re not going to offer a hybrid workplace, someone else will,” Schwartz said. “I think as employers continue to fight for talent they’re realizing that being flexible where an employee works may be an important factor.”

That said, there are plenty of companies and industries where in-person has the edge. Healthcare, bio-tech and education are all areas that never really went fully remote or have returned to in-person.  Manufacturing and service industries are other areas that really can’t be done remotely for many roles.

But for others, the hybrid workplace (or even fully remote workplace) is here to stay.  Perhaps if the economy slows down further, employers will gain an upper hand in setting the rules. But for now, workers have more of a say.