A recent Office Depot poll has revealed a tremendous amount of information on the mindsets of employees and employers as it relates to remote work.
One statistic that stood out was that 50% of employees are so uncomfortable with the idea of returning to the office that they would use vacation time to avoid doing so. It is presumed that this is due to how widespread the COVID-19 virus is.
More than two-thirds of companies – 68% – have had their employees resume working in brick-and-mortar settings. However, 16% of those employers added that they would accept their employees being remote workers for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, a considerable majority of business leaders – 86% – stated that they know that employees remain uncomfortable with the idea of ceasing remote work.
Other survey results provided viewpoints related to keeping in-office environments safe.
Of the companies that currently have in-office employees, 64% require that masks be worn by them the entire time that they are there, 55% only require mask wearing when clients are being interacted with, 45% just require them during meetings, and 42% require them when employees interact with customers.
The top three steps that workplaces have taken to make their environments safer include adding hand-sanitizing stations, frequently disinfecting their workspaces and ensuring that employees follow social distancing guidelines.
Meanwhile, employees looking forward to returning to their brick-and-mortar workplaces stated that they were most excited about seeing coworkers, having their own workspace there and being able to more easily have a work-life balance.
Regardless, employers and employees have experienced tremendous changes over the past year, changes that will be permanent in many cases.
For example, business owners will likely reduce the size of their space, depending on their type of business; those who own coffeeshops, for example, may expand instead. Meanwhile, many employees have realized how valuable flexibility in when and where they work is to them and will not be apt to give that up.
Also, not commuting has provided many employees with more free time and a greater work-life balance. However, that will have a knock-on effect on those who have jobs supporting the transport and servicing of those individuals, such as in downtown settings; they may ultimately need to secure other employment.