The new normal of working from home has had a positive impact in the lives of many employees. According to a recent survey published by Robert Half, in which 1000 workers were polled about their telecommuting experience, the shift from in person to online operations has brought several benefits that staff hope will extend into the future of their positions beyond the pandemic.
What Employees Said About Telecommuting
77% of employees who were surveyed reported that they were working from home. 63% of the overall sample said that the pandemic made them realize that their jobs were doable remotely. 60% felt that their lives were improved by the lack of commute. 43% reported that they are now more tech-savvy than they were before the pandemic. Despite not being able to gather in person, 20% of those polled even said that they felt closer to colleagues than they had while working in the office. The perspectives of those who have children were also markedly different than their childless counterparts. For example. parents surveyed were 3 times more likely to report increased connection with colleagues.
What This Means for the Future
As economies reopen, many businesses are starting to bring their operations back into their offices. However, with such a marked shift in business as usual over the last few months, employees report being nervous about some aspects of going back. For example, 56% of workers surveyed said that they are worried about being in such close proximity to others during the course of their workday. 59% reported that they were more likely to rethink travelling for business, and 61% anticipate spending less time in office common areas. Parents surveyed had even higher percentages of these responses and communicated that they would prefer increased opportunity to telecommute in the future.
So, what does this tell us? Certainly, our workplaces will need to change and adapt to a post-COVID world. Participants in the Robert Half study expect companies to allow employees to work from home on a more regular basis in the future. In addition, over half think their employers should require staff to wear masks, stagger work schedules to decreasing crowding in the office, and hold fewer in-person training sessions and meetings. 46% even said that they would prefer their office layouts be changed to accommodate social distancing.
These are all valuable insights as to what the workplace might need to look like post-COVID. While the US is still firmly in the first wave of the virus, taking precautions to keep staff safe and healthy must still be a priority, even as lockdowns are lifted. In doing so, you not only protect yourself from possible legal ramifications of workers contracting COVID on the job, but you may also increase employee retention by keeping your team satisfied and assured that their employer has their best interests at heart.