Are remote and flex office work policies here to stay?
There are many indicators the Covid-19 pandemic will end this year, and we can go back to a normalcy that resembles pre-pandemic times. We see this light at the end of the tunnel despite concerns about new surges and variants. We have many reasons to be optimistic.
So, how does this optimism impact, or change, last year’s shift to remote work? Is remote work here to stay, or will the pendulum swing back to long commutes and office work?
If you are a manager who just can’t wait to have your staff back in the office where you can micro-manage supervise them (sadly, a CEO once said that say to me), please read the following:
Employees do not want to return to the office full-time – and some don’t want to return at all.
While some companies want workers back in the office, many large and small enterprises continue to embrace permanent remote or flex work policies. Thus, a legacy of Covid-19 will be that workers will be allowed to work remotely more often, according to a new study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network. In that survey, 89% said their future preference is for a job that allows them to work from home, at least part of the time.
451 Research echoes this. A recent report says that 66% of businesses who have adopted remote work policies due to COVID-19 plan to keep at least some of those policies in place long-term or permanently. Some of the more interesting survey results include:
- Companies are in no rush to head back to workplaces. Although close to 19% of organizations intend to have employees return to offices as soon as local regulations allow, nearly 50% will wait to determine any timeline.
- Office space is being sold off. Dropbox and Salesforce have already taken steps to shed real estate holdings.
So, why should CEOs and hiring managers care about remote work policies if things are getting better?
It matters because 47% of current employees would likely leave their job after the pandemic if their employers don’t offer a hybrid work model, according to results from Envoy’s Return to the Workplace Report. 41% said they would be willing to take a job with a slightly lower salary if it offered a hybrid work-from-home, in-office model.
Whether your employees are remote or not, the last year has taken a heavy employee engagement toll. To fix this, managers need to provide new tools and skills to remote and distributed teams to be more effective and collaborative.
There are many ways to keep employees engaged or get them reengaged. One cost-effective and easy solution is to provide employees with online workshops from TalkShop. From improving online presenting to mastering your personal brand or understanding how to influence others, TalkShop has a workshop solution for your team. You can check out our workshops here.