In the U.S. the expectation is that sometime in the summer we’ll go back to pre-pandemic normalcy. So, some companies have announced that in a few months they’ll start accepting employees back in their offices.
Well over a year since the pandemic forced businesses to shut down their offices and adopt a full remote work approach, do employees want to go back to the office?
I don’t think so. At least not %100 to how it was. I’ve talked to people who don’t want to go back to they way things were. The pandemic has forced them to rethink how they work, and some are even thinking about quitting their jobs.
I’m sure organizations have been thinking about this question for a while, with good reason. To help answer this question, academics Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, and Steven J. Davis did a survey and came up with 5 reasons why working from home will stick.
According to the survey, here are 5 reasons why working from home will stick:
- Diminished stigma. As more people are working from home, there is no longer a stigma associated with it that was there pre-pandemic.
- Better-than-expected experiences working from home. Respondents report better-than-expected WFH experiences and higher productivityat home.
- Investments in physical and human capital enabling working from home. The pandemic prompted firms and other organizations toimproveback-end systems and equipment thatsupport working from home. As a result of thesepandemic-driven investments, both workers and firms are now better positioned to work from home effectively.
- Reluctance to return to pre-pandemic activities. This one is mainly driven by reduced commuting times from home to work as well as a productivity gains from working from home.
- Innovation supporting working from home. The pandemic forced organizations to adopt work from home technologies, and invest in developing these technologies. This development will raise the quality and efficiency of remote work over time, reinforcing a shift to WFH well after the pandemic ends.
The report is well worth the read. Let me know what you think!