A vast number of global employees have been forced into remote work because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nor do we yet know for sure when the pandemic will end or when exactly employees will be safe to return to work.
Once that moment arrives, however, will employees actually want to return to work, or will they have become more comfortable with the remote work that they were forced into because of the pandemic?
Elise Keith, co-founder and CEO of Lucid Meetings, presents findings from two major surveys, each finding that sentiments are split.
In one survey of 1500 British professionals, a mere 13 percent reported that they wished to continue working remotely.
A majority of 51 percent reported wanting some flexibility between working in their offices and remotely.
The British survey also found that a majority of remote workers (54 percent) report working more hours than before, but a majority (53 percent) also report being more productive.
The second survey, comprised of 410 senior and midlevel American personnel, found that 20 percent preferred working remotely and 39 percent preferred flexibility between office and remote work.
If this and other surveys are accurate of decision-makers’ sentiments, many employees may find remote work a big part of their future regardless of their thoughts about it.
A survey of decision-makers, as part of the British survey, found that 82 percent expect more remote work going forward and 65 percent want to downsize their office space.
Two Tips for Remote Working
Should decision-makers go all in on remote work, Keith writes, there are two major tips they should keep prominently in mind.
First, establish reliable means to measure productivity in the absence of employees’ physical presence.
Second, fix remote work policy gaps. These gaps are fairly profound, according to the survey of British employees, which found that 54 percent reported a lack of “basic collaborative technology,”
64 percent said they lacked remote work policies, and only 41 percent said they had clarity on their priorities and responsibilities in their remote work capacities.