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  • Writer's pictureDavid George

Research Paper: RTO Mandates are about "Power not Performance"


In this study by Yuye Ding and Mark (Shuai) Ma at the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, the conclusion highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on working modes and perceptions.


It suggests that past experiences need re-evaluation to adapt to the new era shaped by the pandemic. The research focuses on the return-to-office (RTO) mandates of S&P 500 firms and finds that managers may use these mandates to reassert control and blame employees for poor firm performance.


Contrary to the belief that RTO improves firm values, the study indicates a decline in employee job satisfaction without significant changes in firm performance.
The findings challenge the notion that mandating a return to the office post-pandemic leads to a notable improvement in firm performance, emphasizing the negative impact on employee satisfaction.

The study acknowledges limitations and suggests future research opportunities, including examining long-term consequences, broadening the sample beyond S&P 500 firms, considering labor market dynamics, and addressing potential endogeneity issues. Overall, the results aim to inform managers' decisions regarding RTO policies in the post-pandemic era.


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