This has been the question on everyone’s mind since mid-March. While many Americans expected the pandemic to be over by now, there doesn’t seem to be a definitive end in sight. So, how much longer can we expect to be offering from home and what will it continue to look like? Since we don’t have a crystal ball, we reviewed some available data to give you the best current estimations.
Global Workplace Analytics has launched a survey to gauge the long-term implications of COVID-19 on work life. Things are definitely going to look different, similar to how airport security changed post 9/11. GWA gathers that as much as 25 to 30 percent of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.
GWA states that prior to the pandemic, 80% of employees desired the option to work from home. The need for flexibility has been building for many years, and this pandemic has forces businesses to test it out. “The genie is out of the bottle and it’s not likely to go back in,” according to GWA.They also found that managers who were previously concerned about work productivity from home are now more open to the idea since they have done it themselves.
There have also been unexpected benefits. The average employer can expect to save roughly $11,000/year for each employee that works half of their time from home. GWA estimates that U.S. employers will save more than $30 Billion dollars a day during the COVID crisis. It has also been found that cutting back on commuter travel significantly reduces our carbon footprint. The annual environmental impact of part-time remote work (for those who can and want to work from a home office) represents “the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking the entire NY state workforce off the road.”
It’s no doubt that the COVID-19 era has ushered in a new way of doing business. With employees, employers and the environment adjusting to this new reality it’s quite possible we can all expect to be working remotely, at least part of the time, for good.