At the one-year mark into the pandemic, we are looking back at the most disruptive period we’ve seen in generations. Nothing can be taken for granted, and nowhere is that more true than in corporate america. This leaves a lot of us wondering about the future with questions like these: is employee staggering here to stay, and is working from home set to be the new standard?
Increasingly, the answer to these questions is yes.
To explore possible answers, it is necessary to look at both sides of the equation, the companies and the employees themselves. But first, let’s take a look at the definitions of staggering and working from home.
Working from home, or telecommuting, is the practice of allowing workers to conduct business remotely, up to 100% of the time. Usually, all that’s required is a reliable internet connection and an appropriate space in which to work.
Staggering employees, widely popular after the restrictions set in response to the pandemic, is allowing workers to arrive and leave at varied times. This can mean that the schedule is at their discretion, or that there are start and end times offered for their selection. And of course, these models can be combined depending on the business.
For the employees, the choice is resoundingly clear with 57% saying they would prefer to work from home. Greater autonomy and freedom to tailor schedules to their families’ needs, not to mention safety in the face of the coronavirus, rank among the top reasons employees state this preference.
In a recent study, these practices were found to bring about some unexpected benefits as well. The work from home/staggering trend allows for better use of public transport systems, effectively lessening rush-hour traffic patterns, and creates work opportunities for people who would prefer to live in rural areas. As cities worldwide face swelling population numbers, this could be a very attractive option for the future, even when the coronavirus is under control.
For the companies, despite worries about losing a team dynamic or decreased networking opportunities, the data suggests they are onboard with these trends becoming permanent. In that epicenter of business, New York City, 56% of employers interviewed reported that their workers would continue to telecommute, at least part of the time. On a nationwide scale, many large companies reported that 2 in 5 employees would still be working from home in late 2021.
While companies would benefit from spending less on office rentals, offering this scheduling flexibility has proven to be cost-effective and to keep them competitive in the job market, as well. Lower rates of absenteeism and higher recruiting and retention rates have been reported in connection with companies that allow working from home. What’s more, in some sectors, employee performance has remained the same or even improved in light of this flexible scheduling.
It is still an uncertain time, and everyday brings new developments in the pandemic and its impact on our professional lives. Remote hours and staggering employees, however, seems to be a marked change to the way we define work; and one that is here to stay. Return back to work safely and easily with Safeter’s help. Learn more about our solutions here.