During the past year, when COVID-19 was wreaking havoc across the globe, companies had to transition to a remote work setup. This arrangement allowed them to remain operational amid a pandemic, albeit at a skeletal level.
The move was initially met by mixed reactions from workers as not all businesses were equipped and prepared to make the transition. But over the past year, it was proven that a lot of work could be done remotely. In fact, employee productivity has increased for many businesses despite a slightly lower employee engagement rate.
Why Workers Prefer a Flexible Working Arrangement
With the vaccination program going successfully, corporate America is preparing to welcome employees back into the workplace. Much to the workers’ dismay.
It appears that over the past year of doing remote work, most employees have grown accustomed to the new working normal. According to a recent survey among 1,000 adults conducted by Morning Consult on Bloomberg’s behalf, nearly 40% of employees said they would seriously consider resigning if they were forced to go back to the office. The number is a bit higher among millennials, and Gen Z as about 49% of them have the same sentiments.
While other companies such as Citigroup Inc, Ford, and Google have promised their employees greater flexibility, many chief executives have expressed how important it is for workers to return to their offices and workplaces. They say that remote work robs workers of the opportunity to collaborate and to experience a thriving company culture. JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s CEO Jamie Dimon said that a remote work setup isn’t helpful for young people and those who want to work hard and hustle.
Many workers, however, do not share the same sentiments. If one thing the past year has taught everyone, many people have become more productive working from home. They were able to get more work done in terms of job responsibilities and duties at home.
When interviewed, most of those who prefer to work from home say that COVID-19 really showed them the real advantages and benefits of remote work.
In terms of savings, not only does a remote work setup allow them to save as much as $5,000 for the past year, but it also saved them several hundred hours worth of commuting in packed subway trains and jammed highways. All of that time spent going to and from the workplace was translated into hours getting more work done, doing chores around the house, or spent bonding with loved ones. It also allowed them to stay safe and avoid getting unnecessarily exposed to the novel coronavirus.
However, as more and more people are getting jabbed by the vaccine, companies are seriously reconsidering recalling workers back into the workplace. As an increasing number of employers send out memos to their employees about the huge possibility of returning to their offices and cubicles before the year ends, the number of people resigning from their jobs is also getting larger.
Greater Flexibility at Work
People have already grown accustomed to this new lifestyle. It may have had some challenges and some getting used to, but workers now prefer to stay at home and work from there. The number of resignations that companies are receiving nowadays is surprisingly high, which is ironic if you think about it. A year ago, many people were desperate for work — anything that will allow them to provide for their needs and those of their families. But now, people are calling it quits as employers now recall everyone to come back.
Besides having already adapted to a new system, most of them are still afraid of the health risks of going back to work physically. They would rather look for other jobs that will give them greater flexibility. This is especially beneficial for companies that have decided to retain a hybrid work arrangement for their employees.
The only ones who cannot benefit from this type of flexibility are the ones who are working on the frontlines in the fight against COVID. There aren’t enough options for those who need to be physically present at work, like healthcare professionals, grocery workers, or delivery service providers. But those who have the luxury of choice are carefully weighing their options. Even those in the investing game, such as professional home investors, still make a decent earning if you take away the physical aspect of the business.
While things aren’t final yet, given the unpredictability and uncertainty surrounding our circumstances, it seems like folks have already fully bought the remote work setup’s benefits and are no longer willing to give up the safety and security it offers. Guess only time will tell how things will unfold for the American workforce.