Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve seen companies opening their offices back up, but to their surprise no one wants to return.
This might not actually be a bad thing for some employers, in fact, it might even be a great thing. Data shows that remote work has had a positive influence on overall employee well-being. It has also had a surprising impact on worker productivity.
People save time by not commuting to work
Online surveys done by University of Chicago, ITAM and Stanford University have been trying to answer questions surrounding the shift to remote work. In one of the many surveys that they did, they asked the question: How are you spending the time you have saved by not commuting?
The most common answer, at 34%, was that they actually spend more time working on their primary job. So without the extra hassle of a commute, it’s evident that employees can sink into their daily tasks sooner.
The majority of workers prefer some amount of remote-work
According to a 2021 survey conducted by FlexJobs, 58% of respondents preferred to work full-time remotely. However, 39% preferred hybrid work, and altogether that is 97% of workers who would favor some form of remote work.
Additionally, the Harvard Business Review reported that 32% of employees would rather they never step in an office again. At the other end of the spectrum, 21% of employees would prefer it if they never worked at home again. Notably, employees with less experience are actually part of the demographic that wants to return to the office.
Many younger people prefer to be back at the office
A PwC survey shows that 30% of respondents with 0 to 5 years of experience would prefer to work remotely no more than one day. This could indicate that less experienced employees value the time they get meeting with people at work.
It is clear that a hybrid work model could be the perfect solution to keep all of your employees happy. It checks off all of the boxes for employees who still want to come into work, while still allowing companies to take advantage of productivity from those that prefer to work at home.
Companies are doing these 5 things to ensure a smooth transition to a hybrid work model:
To make the most out of transitioning to a hybrid workflow, companies need to ensure that employees’ needs are met. These are just a handful of tactics that companies are using to make employees happy, and maximize the potential benefits of working from home…
Offer your employees 3 days of remote work
Offering at least three days of remote work is a good place to start. For those who prefer remote work the surveys we mentioned showed that their productivity will increase.
Your employees now have more freedom to choose how they spend their day. They can spend all three of those days at home, or maybe stop by the office for the second half of the day. It’s this simple idea of flexibility and freedom that makes such a big difference in people’s lives.
Flexibility in the workplace will become more important for both employees, and is without a doubt here to stay. Realistically speaking, companies that want to hire top-tier employees at a great price point should be implementing this.
Data shows that this is what people want. A hybrid model is the perfect middle ground to satisfy diverse needs.
Improve or lease new workspaces
Many prefer to work at home because their house is actually a more comfortable environment than the office. If companies want to draw employees back in, they need to renovate or move to a nicer office.
Investing in new furniture and other office amenities produces a clear “win/win” scenario for an organization. Businesses and employees are happy because on one hand, workers get to enjoy a newer, nicer working space, while businesses will see more people return to the office because of that.
On top of this, saving money on renting office spaces is another potential benefit for businesses. The price to rent out a new office space has been steadily declining as more companies choose to go all virtual, or opt for a hybrid schedule.
Liven up the day by hiring a keynote speaker
As people return to the office, it’s important to recognize that this is a time of drastic change for people. Many have gotten used to working solely from home, and transitioning to a hybrid work model may be more difficult for some.
Hiring a powerful keynote speaker could be a way to shift people’s perspective on coming back into the office. For example, Robert Paylor is a speaker who uses his inspiring story of overcoming the challenges of quadriplegia to show that you can truly conquer any obstacle.
Robert’s story is sure to inspire you to overcome your own challenges, which is why he would be great to hire during these more challenging times.
Another example of a great keynote speaker is Matthew S. Newman. Matthew is a cancer survivor who has an incredibly moving story about learning how to live in the moment. Matthew talks about how to form better connections with coworkers and clients in deeper, more meaningful ways.
The impact that Robert and Matthew have had on audiences is apparent, and it’s no wonder that so many different organizations have asked them to speak. This is a time of change, and speakers like Rob and Matthew can communicate that we are all in this together.
Use the prospect of remote work as a reward
To fully take advantage of a hybrid work schedule, it might be beneficial to offer extra remote days for employees who are ahead of their workload. This gives employees who prefer to work from home more of an incentive to get ahead on work, therefore increasing productivity even more.
People who really like working from home will perform better and meet deadlines sooner if this is implemented. This, in combination with the option of working three days from home, is sure to satisfy the majority of employees.
Remote Work Encourages collaboration and camaraderie
For many, encouraging collaboration can be a great way to make people feel like they are part of a team. This in turn could have a very positive outcome on how workers view coming into work.
In this case, switching to a hybrid schedule may theoretically enhance collaboration between co-workers. Just think about how easy it is these days to quickly reach out to someone over email, a messaging app, or to schedule a video chat with someone.
Since it is that easy to periodically meet with co-workers virtually, you can now have people chat in person, but also not feel so disconnected in the long run. This is a great way for senior management to keep their “virtual door” open, especially to interns or newer employees.
Having two in person workdays while easily collaborating at home will ensure that co-worker bonds remain strong.
Working from home is here to stay
Working from home has produced positive results for both employees and companies alike. Unless companies want to be left in the dust, they must embrace remote work in some form.
This is further supported by another survey that suggests that our fastest rising priority within the job market is flexibility. The option to work from home is becoming very important to people, especially among millennials born from 1981 to 1995.
At this point, returning to work in a hybrid fashion is the best course of action for many companies. This model meets the needs of a diverse range of employees.
Really, the biggest takeaway from the rise of remote work is that these changes are improving people’s lives. Especially if companies can capitalize on this new approach to work, there seems to be few downsides.