For over a year now, many (non-essential) workers have been able to work from home, either full-time or part-time. Overall, these workers enjoy the benefits of working remotely and have proved to maintain their productivity when working from home. While at the start of the pandemic remote work may have looked like a temporary solution, after over a year many workers remain happy with their work-from-home status, and it looks like the trend is here to stay. Remote workers have enjoyed their more flexible schedules, not having their daily commute, and the cost savings of not physically going to the office (use less gas, fewer dry-cleaning bills, etc.). In a Harvard Business School study, 81% of those polled said they either “don’t want to go back to the office or would prefer a hybrid schedule going forward”. Since employees aren’t anxious to give up their work from home perks, what does that mean for the future of work?
In many ways over this past year, we’ve become a more virtualized society. Team members can work remotely, and with the help of video conferencing solutions like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, still feel engaged with their co-workers. While it took some adjusting at first, many find these virtual meetings fit seamlessly into their schedules now. In the coming years, we’ll likely see a rise in virtual events as well. For those looking for jobs, this will mean online job fairs, and there will be many more offerings for virtual trainings and conferences.
New Office Spaces
With many business employees continuing to work remotely in the future, office spaces will likely change. For companies that allow their employees a hybrid work model, they’ll likely downsize their office space, savings on their real estate costs, and change their environments to be more collaborative for when employees do come into the office. In an article on Architectural Digest, they say companies will be asking themselves, “How do we create spaces that foster personal investment in the brand, improve collaboration, and respect privacy?”
For companies hiring remotely, it will open up a wider talent pool. Previously companies usually only focused on hiring those within a driving distance from the office, but with remote work, employees just need a reliable internet connection making it a lot easier for companies to find qualified and talented employees for their team.
The pandemic forced many companies previously unwilling to have employees work remotely to shift to that model and in turn, have embraced the trend finding their employees remained productive and successful. For employees, while there were adjustments at first, they quickly welcomed the many benefits of working remotely. Moving forward, both companies and employees alike are ready to thrive in this new work environment.