Currently, there are 125 million full-time jobs across the U.S. Nearly half of those jobs can be done remotely.
To get more clarity on what the workplace will look like after the pandemic, analytics and advisory company Gallup decided to investigate. Through their research, they determined that a stagging 30 percent of the 60 million employees who have the ability to work from home, would prefer to “never” return to the office during the week. Just 10 percent would prefer working from the office from Monday through Friday.
How did the majority — the middle 60 percent — respond? Not surprisingly, they prefer a hybrid of working remotely and in-office. While not a new model of working, the hybrid model has proven to offer employees what they value most aside from compensation: flexibility. According to Gallup’s research, the majority of respondents would prefer to work two to three days in the office and work remotely for the remainder of the week.
Respondents who said they would “never” return to the office cited the lack of commuting, improved wellbeing, and a better work-life balance as key reasons.
The research was conducted to help determine how exactly the office will change post-pandemic. Gallup’s CEO Jim Clifton predicted, “Our over/under is 37 percent empty desks.”
How did this number come to be?
“When the pandemic wanes and something close to ‘normal’ returns, we conclude that there will be a 37 percent reduction of in-person days worked per week for those 60 million employees who can work from home. Put another way, a tall office building in a big city where all desk jobs can be done remotely — on any given week — will have 37 percent fewer desks occupied than it did that same week in 2019.”
In The Chairman’s Blog, he also revealed some of the side effects this vacancy will have on the future workplace.
“As a CEO, I believe there is more human energy and spirited collaboration to be found for employees in the office than sitting home alone,” Clifton said. “The right in-person culture creates superior individual development and results in the success of teams as well as innovation and customer success. This includes fewer errors and missed opportunities.”
The upside to the hybrid workplace, if “handled masterfully,” he said, will be that “your culture of teams and managers will remain dedicated to your organization instead of becoming a culture of freelancers and gig workers.”
If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic workplace, it’s that it’s proven to be a wake-up call for office culture.
Read the full article from Gallup here.