Remote work is a success, but not everyone is ready to work remotely
We all know this, but it’s good when the numbers confirm it: remote work has been a success and that’s what both employers and employees say. An unexpected success, still viewed with distrust by some managers, considered something “temporary” by others, but a success that cannot be disputed.
The study conducted by PWC US in January 2021 – Remote Work Survey – brings some tangible figures on how the perception of remote work has changed in the past months: 83% of employers say that remote work was a success for their company compared to 73% who declared the same in June 2020. For some companies it takes longer to see the benefits, that’s all.
Employees are not too eager to return to the old working arrangements either. 75% of executives expect only half of employees to return to office by July 2021. An optimistic estimate, given that vaccination of the population takes longer than expected and Covid cases are still on the rise, along with local and national restrictions that fluctuates frequently.
87% of executives will make a decision on the company’s office space in the next 12 months: half of them expect to reduce their office space, while the rest expect to increase the company’s office space. Both categories realize that for the employee it’s important the experience at the office and not the surface in sqm.
Returning to the office will not, in fact, be a return to a previous way of working, because the office is also reinventing itself – only one in five executives believes that employees will return to the office as before the pandemic. The rest analyze how and in what way they can expand the remote work options, while 13% of the employers are considering giving up the pre-pandemic office altogether. For 87% of employees, the office is important for its role of collaboration between teams and for socializing with other colleagues, the main issues that frustrate the employee in a permanent work from home.
The junior employees are the ones who need the office the most. 30% of them prefer to work remotely no to once a week. This preference is related to productivity – less experienced employees are less productive when working remotely, they need more support from managers and are not as good at working independently as the employees with more work experience. The juniors appreciate the most the meetings with their managers, but also the offline trainings organized by the company.
No one knows the optimal number of days worked remotely versus at the office. 55% of employees would prefer at least three days of remote work per week, while executives, even though they are preparing to offer more flexible working options, are concerned about the effects of remote work: 68% of executives believe that a typical employee should be at the office at least three days a week, to maintain a distinct organizational culture.
But is the company’s headquarters fundamental to organizational culture? We think it’s not ?