How long will we be working from home?
The remote working trend, brought about by Coronavirus and shelter-in-place directives in many of the toughest hit states, has changed how companies and organizations do business. According to Gartner Research’s recent report on Remote Work, almost 50 percent of employees will continue to work remotely post COVID-19.
While there are clearly some upsides for moving to a remote model, there are also some drawbacks, or problems, with such an approach, especially in the long run.
With so many working remotely in 2020, and many companies changing the way they do business, this month’s SSN News Poll looked to see if the remote workforce situation is just temporary or something that is here to stay.
When asked the serious question – is your company staying with remote workforce? – 63 percent said yes, with another 5 percent undecided, and only 33 percent saying definitively no. The top benefits of going with this approach for respondents included being more agile (42 percent), creating better employees (32 percent) and monetary savings (26 percent).
“The naysayers that remote work would never take off have been silenced,” said one person. “We’ve found employees are just as productive and happier since doing away with the ‘normal’ daily grind of commuting and work.”
Another reader said, “Productivity has increased,, occupancy rates have skyrocketed and employee morale is even better. That, paired with cost savings equals a permanent remote workforce.”
While many establishments are clearly moving toward, or considering, a remote or hybrid workforce, for the just about one third who are not looking at this model long-term, some of the concerns with this plan of attack include destructively touching company culture (70 percent), lack of responsibility (20 percent) and lost productiveness (10 percent).
“There are certain workers and places that will continue to operate remotely [but] it will not be full time and it will be limited,” said one answerer. “We have seen issues with accountability and company culture with long term deployment of employees. We plan on allowing deployed personnel on limited foundation, based on fruitfulness of the individual. New employees will be office based until they have been adjusted to company perceptiveness and operating norms.”
Another respondent agreed, adding, “We will come back to the office but will allow for remote days as needed.”
How long will we be working from home ? – Hopefully, the successful rollout of vaccines in the first half of 2021 will create an atmosphere that brings back business as usual. But as we’ve seen over the past year, there really won’t be a full return to normalcy, as trends continue to move away from the baseline. There will be a “new normal” which will require some adjustment, but eventually will be embraced by companies and society as a whole.
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