Are Remote Workers Ever Coming Back?April 13, 2022 11:28 am
It’s been just over two years since the global pandemic sent many of us scrambling to set up home offices in our basements, bedrooms, and living rooms. Some industries have continued on with medical safeguards, as their business may require in-person attendance in order to survive. Others, however, have begun the shift back to in-office, or at least a hybrid schedule in 2022.
With the impacts of the coronavirus still impacting our country both medically and economically, where do we stand right now? Are remote workers ever coming back full time? Let’s explore this topic further as we head into a third year of workplace adjustments.
What the Statistics Tell Us
We often look to polls and research to give us the pulse of where the workforce is in terms of their opinions on workplace issues. This issue is no different.
According to Pew Research Center, ”among Americans with jobs that can be done remotely, 59% say they still are working from home much or all of the time.” This survey was taken at the start of the year. That percentage is less than the 71% who reported working remotely in October 2020, but is well above the 23% who did frequently before the pandemic.
Pew researchers said they found that 60% of workers with jobs that can be done from home, say they’d like to work from home all or most of the time when the pandemic is over if given the choice. This is up from 54% in 2020.
So what do these numbers mean for small businesses in Massachusetts?
Is There A Compromise?
Looking for a happy medium in a workforce that would prefer to work remotely may be a challenge but many companies are successfully doing just that.
For instance, Microsoft reported that it fully reopened its facilities in Washington state and the San Francisco Bay Area as of February 28, 2022 and expected employees to “adopt the working preferences they’ve agreed upon with their managers” within 30 days. This could include in-person, remote, or a hybrid option.
Other companies, such as Apple, Quora, Slack, Facebook, Twitter, Upwork, Spotify and Shopify all announced plans to remain working remotely or in a hybrid manner, indefinitely. Even more companies have pushed back their Return To Office (RTO) dates in the face of the Omicron variant.
The overall consensus seems to be to find a happy medium or compromise. Examples of this can be seen at Ford and Wells Fargo. According to reporting by NPR, “Ford says its campuses will welcome additional corporate team members back on-site in April. Wells Fargo has announced a flexible hybrid model starting March 14, with most employees coming in three days a week.”
This may be a smart move by companies large and small as national jobs reports show that, “Jobs specified as “remote” already receive 300 percent more applicants than jobs that are not.”
We’d love to hear from you and how your company is handling the return to work protocols. Are you fully remote? Hybrid? Or have you been back in the office for some time? Give us a comment below and let us know where your company stands as of Spring 2022.