With businesses now fully opening their doors, there’s a difference in opinion between most workers and employers over flexible work schedules that were the norm during the initial COVID-19 pandemic. According to Harvard Business School, 70% of employers want employees back in the office, while only 18% of workers want to be in the office every day. In fact, about 65% of employees would like to have the option to work remotely full-time after the pandemic, whereas 31% would prefer a hybrid work arrangement, according to a recent FlexJobs survey.
The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly created a landmark shift in the way organizations work, with isolation and remote work productivity expectations leaving many workers feeling burned out. Recent data from WeWork in April shows that 75% of employees would give up at least one benefit or perk for the freedom to choose their work environment. For workers who prefer a more hybrid work culture, this would allow for greater schedule flexibility, optimize technology and prioritize employee well-being.
On the other hand, employers would have to weigh factors such as company culture, talent and productivity in deciding to adopt a hybrid work environment. Some of these benefits might include:
- Reducing real estate overhead
- Retaining talent
- Increased employee productivity
- Removing obstacles for those taking care of children or caring for elderly or sick family members
- Time and environmental footprint saved from not having to commute
However, employers should also consider certain disadvantages that might come with remote working:
- Eliminating spontaneity and creativity with lack of employee interaction and bonding
- Diminishing the separation between work and home life
- Causing a diversity issue with employees who choose to work full-time in-office climbing the corporate ladder while remote employees less likely to be promoted
Nevertheless, if employers wish to retain and cultivate talent, they should consider implementing policies and processes that allow for a hybrid workplace. For example, some companies may allow remote work but require in-office participation for onboarding or quarterly meetings. In our next blog, we’ll explore features that could be implemented in a hybrid work environment, as well as reconfigurable spaces that allow offices to use space and staff capacity to their advantage. For more information about how Vanguard can assist you in facilities management, please contact us or call 1-800-211-8848.