The priorities of working life are now digitalization, sustainability and mobility, trends that have been developing since the early 2000s and that became megatrends during the global pandemic. On a global scale, the entire business world, whether from the perspective of employers or employees, is now making a deep-rooted evaluation of remote work.
Before COVID-19, remote working was not sympathetically regarded around the world, and employers were worried that it would cause a loss in efficiency. But after one year and a half spent under COVID-19 measures, companies saw that working from home is not as alarming as they had imagined; on the contrary, many employers have realized that remote working can be even more productive in many cases.
However, as many are hoping that the fallout from the global pandemic will be mitigated depending on the speed and impact of the vaccination process, both employers and employees
have also begun to speak more about the risk that remote working may disrupt or even kill team spirit and innovation if it continues indefinitely.
While the finance sector naturally wants teams to return to the workplace as soon as possible, five days a week, innovative companies focused on technology favor the idea of their employees coming into the office half of the time and working remotely the other half.
However, even the most innovative companies are not in favor of their employees working entirely remotely. They worry that the ability to produce quick solutions provided by team spirit, vital for the development of products and for solving possible issues in the production or management processes of a company, may disappear if employees never come to the workplace.
For this reason, after the global pandemic, the expectation that companies will offer their employees a hybrid work schedule has gained more support, allowing more flexibility for the personal and family needs of employees. A comprehensive study conducted with 50,000 working-age people in the U.S. points to important clues regarding this.
In the survey conducted this past June, the respondents were asked what their reaction would be if the employer called them to return to the office 5 days a week as of Aug. 1. A total of 57.8% of the respondents answered "I will return completely," while 35.8% replied, "I will return to work involuntarily until I find a job that allows me to work at least one or two days a week from home." Around 6.4% of the employees, a number that cannot be underestimated, said, "I would like the employer to fire me without even waiting for me to find a job."
In other words, nearly half of 50,000 people gave the message that they wanted to spend at least one or two days working from home in their professional life. As a matter of fact, the data of institutions that regularly keep and measure employment and private-sector job market data of the U.S. indicate that the resignation rate, which rose to 2.5% in the private sector only last May, is at its highest rate since 2000.
The second question of the survey is even more interesting: "Would you accept a new job that allows you to work from home 2 or 3 days a week providing the same working conditions?" A total of 55.9% of the 50,000 people who participated in the survey stated that they would accept a new job with the same personal rights and the right to work from home 2-3 days a week, whereas 33.2% of them answered, "It doesn't matter." Additionally, 10.9% stated that they would not "like to work from home."
Whatever these ratios may be, it seems that this is data that American companies cannot afford to ignore in the coming period. Moreover, of the 55.9% who answered that "(they) will accept the job immediately," the ratio is 54.1% for men and 57.8% for women. Again, among that same 55.9% of people, 63.9% have children under the age of 18, and 49.4% do not have children under the age of 18 or have no children at all. This means that even if employees are not responsible for a child, the rate of those who want to work from home at least 2-3 days a week is much higher than expected.
The last detail of the survey and research may catch your attention. The first answer to the question “How many days a week do you still want to work from home in 2022 or later, even when the global pandemic is completely over?” asked over the period from May 2020 to June 2021, was close to 2.1 days in May 2020.
However, the answers given by the employees to the same question was at the highest in December 2020 with around "2.5 days." In June 2021, the same answer is on average "2.3 days." Apparently, even if the global pandemic is over, the research conducted on 50,000 subjects indicates that the desire to work from home at least 2-3 days a week is quite strong.
On the employer side, the data is also quite interesting. The answer employers gave to the same question in May 2020 was "0.8 days." The answer increased to "1.2 days" in October 2020, then after decreasing to "1.1 days" in January 2021. By the end of the survey in June 2021, it had again increased to "1.3 days." In other words, employers in the U.S. seem to be aware that even after the pandemic, they will have to allow their employees to work from home at least 1 or 2 days a week. Let's see how business life will be reshaped after this extraordinary global event.
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