While no one can predict the future, here are some of the ways the workplace is expected to change and how your company can begin to prepare for what may become the new norm.
More Work at Home Opportunities Will be Expected
Not all managers and company owners are a fan of working at home. In fact, 76% of HR Leaders reported to Gartner that the top employee complaint during COVID-19 has been “concerns from managers about the productivity or engagement of their teams when remote.” When employees are working at home, it’s harder to track what they are working on and confirm they are not only being productive, but also putting in the same amount of effort as when they are in the office. Studies have found; however, people tend to be more productive when given the freedom of working from anywhere as opposed to needing to be in an office environment. A 2019 survey by gig work platform Airtasker found that remote employees work 1.4 more days each month. It was also found that remote workers took more breaks, but this boosted their productivity.
Before the outbreak, 69% of organizations already offered a remote work option on an ad hoc basis to some employees, while 42% offered it part time, and 27% offered it full time, according to SHRM’s 2019 Employee Benefits Survey. Now that more people have had the opportunity to work at home and have proven productivity, it will be hard to take away this “perk” from employees. Many have been able to adapt to working at home and now would prefer it. They have experienced the luxury of waking up and being only feet away from their office. A Gallup survey even revealed that 54% of U.S. workers would leave their current job for one that allowed them to work remotely. Studies as these and employees having had the firsthand experience of working at home, will leave workplaces very little choice, but to offer some work at home options in order to retain top talent.
Most likely companies won’t have to go fully remote, but flexibility will be the new mantra. It’s true, not everyone works at home well and not everyone prefers it so having the option to go into an office environment will be a big perk for some. Whether companies let employees choose if they want to come in or implement a staggered schedule, where smaller groups of employees will still be expected to come in on certain days, it will need to be decided what is best for the company. What is certain, is that working at home has proven to be profitable for companies. You will just need to decide what work at home policies will work best for your company.