A hot potato: We've often heard that while most employees want to work from home, their bosses are demanding they get back in the office. However, according to a new survey, 8 out of 10 executives regret their return-to-office plans and would have done things differently if they'd had better access to workplace data.

Envoy and Hanover Research surveyed over 1,156 senior executives (vice president or greater) and workplace managers across five industries in the US about how workplace data is used to make smarter, informed decisions.

A massive 80% of participants said they regretted the initial RTO plans, admitting they would have approached things "differently" if they had access to accurate workplace data. Furthermore, 52% of executives admit to not being able to make a critical workplace decision because they lacked the necessary data to assess operational and real estate needs.

"Many companies are realizing they could have been a lot more measured in their approach, rather than making big, bold, very controversial decisions based on executives' opinions rather than employee data," said Larry Gadea, Envoy's CEO and founder.

The report notes that the lack of data can be costly as hybrid workers tend to come and go, with policies varying based on location. "This makes it impossible for workplace managers to know how many people are onsite on any given day, and how to best allocate space and resources across the organization."

Back in May, it was reported that despite offices in cities reaching 50% residency rates at the start of the year, the figure has barely increased as most firms opt for a hybrid work strategy.

The survey by Scoop Technologies found that 58% of companies allow employees to work some of the week from home. Interestingly, the number of companies that require full-time work from employees had shrunk from 49% to 42% across the previous three months.

Google has been cutting the amount of office space it pays for at the cost of half a billion dollars following its laying off of 12,000 people. It also asked some employees to start sharing desks as a cost-cutting measure.

Google warned staff in June that it would start tracking hybrid employees' office badges to find out if they're coming in on the days they're supposed to; most are expected to be present three days per week. Additionally, these office attendance records will be recorded for performance reviews, and those workers who are consistently absent from the office will be sent reminders. It also asked those working remotely full-time to "consider" coming back into the office.

One consequence of so many people working from home is the billions in taxes that cities have lost as companies shutter offices. More companies are pushing for returns, of course, and could cite a recent study that claims people are 18% less productive when surrounded by the comforts and distractions of home life.