As we approach the one-year milestone of COVID-19, trends are starting to emerge that signal the long-term impacts of the pandemic on the ways American workplaces will operate for the foreseeable future.
Here are five trends that are shaping the future of work.
The move to virtual work has been a success, disrupting the notion that mandatory office attendance is key for employee productivity
Before COVID, employers were reticent to deploy generous WFH policies. Generally, this sentiment was fueled by concerns that if an employee was not in the office, they would be less productive or engaged with their work.
However, that fear has been proven to be unfounded. According to a recent survey conducted by HR and workplace benefits consulting firm Mercer, 90% of employers say working remotely hasn't hurt productivity.
This has given employers the confidence they need to fully embrace the benefits of flexible work policies. In fact, 80% of employers plan to continue allowing remote work in some capacity even after the pandemic.
Some companies have already announced their employees will be able to work from home indefinitely
The number of permanently remote workers globally is expected to double in 2021, from 16% to 34%. Tech giants like Twitter, Square, and Facebook have already announced their employees can work from home indefinitely.
Employees are prioritizing roles at organizations that offer remote work options
Employees are willing to trade in-office perks like catered lunches and curated communal spaces for the flexibility of working remotely.
Nearly a third of employees would quit a job that required them to return to working from an office full-time. Additionally, 62% of employees said they would give preference in job selection to employers who offered remote work.
The purpose of the office is changing -- as is the square footage
With the shift towards hybrid workplaces, companies are reconsidering the size of their office space. 87% of executives plan to make changes to their real estate over the next year, with an eye on consolidating spaces or opening offices in metropolitan areas closer to where their employees live.
Virtual collaboration tools are a long-term investment for businesses
Tools like Zoom and Slack have become household names over the course of the pandemic, offering us ways to stay connected and productive.
Businesses are starting to see the long-term value of investing in virtual collaboration tools and are making investments across business functions. 50% of HR leaders are planning to increase spending on virtual recruitment/ engagement tools in 2021, and 72% of executives plan to increase spending on virtual collaboration tools and IT infrastructure to support secure virtual connectivity.
Get prepared for the hybrid workplace
Is your business prepared to face this new reality? Scoop’s Workplace Planner empowers organizations to provide the flexibility that employees desire while arming them with the insights needed to manage operational costs, reduce liability, and maximize team productivity. Schedule a 30-minute demo using the link below to see how our solution could help support your organization.