The COVID-19 pandemic caught the world by surprise, including the business world. Millions of Americans were given relatively short notice from employers that their physical offices would be closing temporarily in the wake of the pandemic. What many thought would be a short stint at home of maybe a couple of weeks has turned into almost a year of remote work.
Many companies are likely to continue operating remotely until at least summer 2021. Some companies are considering, or have already announced, permanent transitions to remote work.
Navigating a Transition Back to the Workplace
As the rollout of what seem to be extremely effective vaccines around the world signals what is likely the beginning of the end of the pandemic, companies now need to start thinking more carefully about transitioning back to some sense of “normalcy.” Of course, productivity is an important consideration in that decision, and so, too, is employee sentiment.
Research Suggests Employees Are Enjoying Remote Work
A LiveCareer survey of 1,000+ Americans designed to assess employee sentiment around remote work at about a year into the pandemic reveals some interesting insights employers need to consider as they contemplate bringing employees back into the workplace.
- A whopping 29% of working professionals will quit their job if not allowed to continue working remotely with their current employer. Another 62% of employees say they will prefer employers that offer work-from-home (WFH) options in the future.
- A full 81% of working professionals enjoy working remotely, with 65% stating that remote work has positively affected their work/life balance.
- The biggest WFH challenges include home distractions (59%), staying motivated (45%), and communication (37%).
- As many as 50% of remote staff agree (35%) or strongly agree (15%) with the following statement: “I don’t get as much feedback now compared to when I worked onsite.”
- A pay raise is the only perk that might help win telecommuters back.
The survey results show that, while employees value remote work, there are some wrinkles that need to be worked out, particularly around distractions and feedback. This is key information companies should keep in mind when considering whether, and how, to bring staff back into the office.
While most staff would prefer to continue working from home, there are still adjustments companies need to consider in order to make that arrangement as effective as possible. How will your organization navigate this potentially tricky process?