Following the sudden onset of remote work during the pandemic, many companies are now adjusting their policies to get employees to spend more time in the office, in what a recruitment expert calls a “significant shift.”

“We went from a world where everyone was like: ‘work wherever, we're great with that,’ to a world that's really been sliding back towards an increase into the office,” said Michael Scissons, founder and CEO of Careerlist.

Scissons told BNN Bloomberg in a Monday television interview that the majority of public and mid-market private equity companies his firm works with now expect employees to work in-office at least three times a week.

He added that even those with senior positions who have been able to retain a remote work profile are increasingly expected to go into the office every other week or so, even if that means flying in.

“There's definitely been a significant shift back to the office,” Scissons said, “and the battle continues to rage every single day.”

Scissons said expectations vary by location, noting that some U.S. states like Florida and Texas, which never fully shut down in-office work during the pandemic in the first place, have fewer hybrid or remote workers than other jurisdictions.

“It also varies a lot by industry, and there is definitely no one-size-fits-all,” he said.

“But there is a growing discrepancy between what employees are looking for, especially those married with kids, versus what companies are looking for in terms of the number of days that people are showing up in office.”

When it comes to enforcing these new policies, Scissons said it also varies from company to company, with some saying you won’t lose your job if you want to remain as a remote worker, but you won’t get promoted either.

He said those types of ultimatums will likely lead to employees being replaced over time if they opt not to return to the office. Scissons said many other companies aren’t giving workers the option, implementing “you’re in or you’re out” style policies.

“There's a varying degree of enforcement that's happening, but there's definitely a general theme to all companies communicating that it is expected that you're in the office, working,” he said.

Scissons said that despite the ongoing standoff between employers and thousands of remote and hybrid workers determined to hold on to those positions, he thinks more employees will return to the office over time.

He also said that remote and hybrid work is still likely to be available to those who want it, but it will be harder to find.

“You get to choose your own adventure; there will be great adventures for people who want to go back in the office,” Scissons said.

“There's also obviously going to be adventures for remote (workers), but… people who were laid off while they were remote are realizing that finding a new remote job is much more difficult than it was two years ago.”