RKW Law Group Logo

10075 Red Run Boulevard
Suite 401
Owings Mills, MD 21117
(443) 379-4900

10 North Jefferson Street
Suite 200
Frederick, MD 21701
(240) 220-2415

RTO is the new PTO

April 11, 2024

Marie Ignozzi

You know what PTO is. But have you heard of RTO?  

While remote work remains highly attractive for employees, employers have been searching for novel ideas to encourage new hires and existing remote employees to work in the office. Perhaps your company has considered mandating bringing employees back to the office or has already rolled out a plan for a hybrid schedule. Either way, it can be expected that employees will not be thrilled with the prospect of in-person duty, particularly if they were searching for or became accustomed to working remotely. Creating a “Return to Office” or “RTO” benefit package can help ensure a smoother transition.

The “RTO” plan should be designed to fit the goals of the company but should simultaneously soften the impact to remote employees and new hires. Flexible options, incentivization, and platforms to assist with costs associated with being physically present in the office are key for an employer who wants to cultivate a positive culture. Developing a positive and beneficial RTO plan that minimizes the financial and mental strain of commuting can foster the environment employees expect.

Commuting expenses such as train or bus fares, gas, tolls, and parking add up quickly for employees who travel to and from an office daily. Beyond those direct expenses, a thoughtfully developed RTO benefit can provide or reimburse other indirect expenses associated with being in the office such as meals, childcare costs, or even pet care stipends. One client of our firm noted that every time it provided lunch, all workers who generally worked remotely appeared in the office.  Even pre-COVID, companies often incentivized staff with paid parking or reimbursed employees who utilized public transportation as both a monetary and environmental benefit, but employers should now consider broadening RTO benefits to attract and retain top talent.

With this in mind, employers who want to “hop on this train” need to incorporate a thoughtful plan into a clear, written policy. Let us know if we can help you craft an appropriate policy.

Does your company offer any RTO benefits for employees who commute to and from the office? If so, we would love to hear about the perks your company offers.

© 2024 RKW, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy

Sign up for our weekly newsletter