Even as vaccines roll out, many employees have embraced remote work and aren’t eager to return to the physical office. 70% of employees would like to continue to work remotely part of the time post-COVID-19, according to Glassdoor.
Research from PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that employers and employees disagree about what the post-pandemic return to work might look like. They agree that it will be somewhat of a hybrid model, with employees splitting their time between home and the office; however, PwC’s Remote Work Survey, conducted in December, found that Americans have different visions of how often employees will work remotely.
When asked, “To maintain company culture, how often do you think employees should be in the office?”
- 29% of employers said three days a week.
- 21% said five days a week.
- 18% said four days a week.
- 15% said two days a week.
March marks a year since the majority of U.S. employees switched to remote work due to COVID-19. Have attitudes about working from home evolved? A June PwC Remote Work Survey found that 72% of employees would like to continue working from home at least two days a week. That figure in the December survey was virtually unchanged at 74%, compared to 83% of employers. In contrast to their bosses’ responses, the largest share of employees, 29%, wanted to work in the office full time. However, the next largest share of respondents, 19%, wanted only two days of office time, suggesting that pleasing everyone will be difficult.
The remote work model has mostly been a success, the December survey found, with 83% of employers saying that the shift to remote work has been successful. Fewer than one in five employers said they want to return to the office as it was prior to the pandemic.
The survey showed an ambivalence among employees: 87% of them said that the office is still important for collaborating with team members and building relationships. However, many employees want a version of the flexibility of working from home.
Here are some tips for making the new normal work for employers and employees:
- Poll employees and get greater insight into what your employees need.
- Invest in more tools to support collaboration virtually, such as better videoconferencing and improved IT infrastructure.
- Invest more in training for your managers to be comfortable with a virtual workforce: the PwC survey found that 57% of employers plan to invest in conference rooms with upgraded virtual connectivity to connect work-at-home employees with their office colleagues.
- Invest strategically to rebound this year and make up for lost ground.
Some employers have offered nontraditional benefits during the pandemic, including:
- Virtual nutrition programs.
- Online access to therapy and holistic mental health care.
- Virtual parent support groups.
In general, employers have found that programs to help employees balance the demands of their work and home lives are an important support. That change in view makes this a time of radical change in how we think about work.
Remote work has boosted productivity and offered employees an opportunity for better work-life balance and the freedom to live and work away from expensive corporate hubs.
How can Capital Payroll Partners help with your virtual employees?
Did you know that employers are still legally obligated to make labor law notices available to their entire workforce and these obligations also extend to remote employees? Capital Payroll offers a comprehensive compliance solution engineered specifically for remote employees and non-traditional worksites. Our ePoster service provides your remote employees with federal, state and local notices, plus updates, to ensure they stay in compliance and you avoid hefty fines and lawsuits. If you’d like to hear more about this service, contact us!