If you’ve grown comfortable working from home this past year, you are not alone. According to a survey conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, many employees feel the same way: 76% globally wish to continue working from home for at least two days a week.
No one knows what the future holds. At best, it is filled with speculation.
So, let’s try to make some sense of it.
It has become quite clear that remote working is here to stay, and here is why:
- Flexibility to schedule your work hours and choose a comfortable work environment.
- More time to spend with family and friends.
- Ability to have more control over your work-life balance.
- Freedom to be able to walk the dog, exercise, and even grocery shop in the middle of the day.
- No stressful commuting in traffic to get to work and back.
Working from home is fast becoming one of the most sought-after benefits an employer can offer.
It has not always been this way, as in the past, employers believed that working from home meant their teams would be easily distracted and not sufficiently productive. Some felt distrustful not being able to keep an eye on their workforce, which discouraged the idea of remote working.
But are people more productive working from the office?
Do distractions in the remote work environment affect focus and productivity?
Research shows that at least 65% of remote workers are more productive working from home, and 85% of businesses confirm that productivity has increased substantially due to better flexibility in their workforces.
As companies start to acclimate to this new norm, some are beginning to see its benefits, too. A number of the biggest companies in the world, such as Shopify, Microsoft and Twitter, have announced that their staff can continue to work remotely indefinitely.
It is important to note that not everyone is satisfied working from home. A growing number of workers from various industries think differently and would like to get back to the office. Sectors like healthcare, education, construction, and retail are among them, while finance, insurance, the arts, and technology prefer the remote option.
Some employees would like to continue to work from home part of the time but are keen to get back into the office for notable reasons. They may not have a home that allows for a dedicated and quiet space from which to work, or they may be easily distracted and find it easier to concentrate in an office setting. Social communication in an office environment is also something to consider, as some people may rely on the office for their social interaction. With all this in mind, a hybrid option of working from home a couple of days a week may be a good alternative for those employees who prefer not to go fully remote.
The global pandemic has forced an enormous, albeit involuntary, experiment upon us by releasing the genie from the bottle. The question remains where do we go from here?
One thing we know for sure is that it is not going to be easy to shove it completely back in the bottle in the predictable future.