As the novel coronavirus spread throughout the globe, businesses in countries all over the world began to shut their doors and work remotely. At the start of the pandemic, about 31-percent of all workers were remote workers. But that number doubled in the span of just three weeks.
Even when the pandemic is no longer a concern, it’s unlikely that workplaces will go completely back to “normal.” Employees are now used to working from home, and there are fewer reasons not to allow it. Returning to the office will also involve many different factors, such as new social distancing requirements, sanitizing guidelines, and other new rules.
As a business owner or manager, your choices about remote work can make or break your company. Your employees are more likely to be happy and engaged if they have certain options available to them.
Many people have reported that working from home blurs the separation between family, social life, and work life. But even with the potential negative effects from this, over half of today’s remote workers say they’d prefer to continue working remotely even when their offices reopen.
With that said, the numbers have changed slightly over time. In the first few weeks following the work from home orders, more than 60 percent of people wanted to continue doing so. Now the number is just a little over 50 percent.
Research indicates that employees are more likely to want to continue working from home if they’re in industries like professional services, finances, media, arts, insurance, entertainment, and technology. Educators, construction workers, transportation drivers, and retail employees all indicate that they would prefer not to work from home. This makes sense, as these industries are not particularly well-suited to at-home work.
Around 60 percent of business managers say that their employees are working from home. About ten percent of the group say that their work from home policies will change when their offices reopen. Only a few managers have indicated that the situation has been negative enough to reduce work from home opportunities instead.
Remote work will almost certainly be normalized in the next few years. As such, teams and managers need to learn how to use effective leadership and collaboration through the internet.