A post on LinkedIn about remote work made me really think about what work will look like now that we are heading from the COVID era to (hopefully) the post-COVID era. I wrote a post about why, according to surveys and data, people love to work remotely and you can find that here, but as I was writing that post I started to wonder what the future of remote and hybrid work is going to look like. We know that many people are actively seeking remote or hybrid work and they cite the flexibility of the schedule, the ability to mitigate childcare and fuel costs, preferring to work alone and have control over their environment, and access to a wider selection of jobs without having to move among the reasons for that preference.
The question is: will employers continue to offer remote or hybrid positions?
Given that many companies and workers report greater job satisfaction and the same or increased production for remote or hybrid workers–and up to 14% lower salaries–it’s likely that the answer is a yes.
Of course, some industries are going to have fewer opportunities for remote work because it just isn’t as feasible and saw an almost or entirely complete return to in-person workforces post-pandemic. For instance, most work in the transportation, agriculture, or food service industries happen on-site, but it’s clear that many industries including business, engineering, insurance, and tech, for example, have ample opportunities for a partially or fully remote workforce, and these are the industries that will keep remote work around–in part because it’s kind of hard to take it back.
Five Days a Week? No Thanks.
The percentage of the workforce working remotely soared during COVID and while it has decreased–from about 60% of working days to about 30%–it has stabilized and remains much higher than pre-pandemic levels and leaders are finding it difficult to go back to the way things were pre-pandemic. “Many, many companies in recent months have insisted that people come back to the office five days a week, only to reverse that mandate within about a week after hearing that they’d lose their best and brightest,” said Julia Pollak, the chief economist ZipRecruiter.
One thing is for sure: remote and hybrid work is less a perk of the times and more a staple of the “new normal.” How does your remote benefits package stack up? ROI can review it.