As the world continues to transition into a post-pandemic era, the office industry still appears to be rife with evolving practices. In fact, senior executives across around 500 businesses nationwide expect the fully remote and hybrid work models to grow in the next five years, per a new survey.
At the height of COVID-19 in May 2020, a different study showed how fully remote work rapidly increased to 60% of days worked from home. After lockdown periods, frontline workers who provide essential services were the first to return to fully on-site conditions.
But as restrictions eased, the hybrid or combined remote and on-site arrangement emerged. Employers began asking their employees to work on-site for only two to three anchor days when presentations or activities heavily rely on face-to-face interactions.
At the rate of progress in U.S. firms, why do employers anticipate that fully remote and hybrid structures will stay for at least the next couple of years?
Why employers are bracing for a continued flexible future
These flexible work models present a choice that employers must always keep under consideration. Poised to transform the future, the shift to more versatile terms might be here much longer due to:
- Pandemic-born startups determined to explore their growth options
- The proliferation of technological innovations on more convenient and accessible communication channels or tools (video conferencing applications, data transfer systems, collaborative platforms, and other project management or artificial intelligence software)
- Positioning of existing company policies that already allow their employees to exercise discretion on how and where they can perform their tasks
One of the issues employers often raise related to remote and hybrid work is the impact on productivity. While research shows that employees tend to be less productive when working at home, circumstances per employee still vary.
Employers must also weigh each work model’s merits. It can be mutually beneficial when employers reduce costs for workspace and hiring demands, while employees save their energies for productive work instead of commute time. This way, both employer profit and employee morale may improve.
How to make the most of both worlds
The extent of changes in the office landscape is yet to unfold. Employers themselves recognize the inevitability that remote and hybrid work is not going anywhere any time soon. To keep abreast of industry trends and legal changes, employers must always coordinate with their Alaska counsel. Doing so ensures their rights remain protected amid the constantly changing work landscape.