Most office workers are in no rush to return to their full-time workplace, even after the Covid-19 epidemic is behind us. But that does not translate a wish to work exclusively at home. The future, as new studies show, will likely be a week of work between the office and the home, suggests The New York Times.
According to a survey by Morning Consult, 43% of people working remotely report that their ideal practice would be to continue working from home one to four days a week, 32% every day, and only 24% would return to the office full time.
People who prefer to work from home have a higher level of education and income. They have so far escaped the job losses, the consequences of the epidemic. But that could change as the economic contraction continues over time.
In an investigation by the Atlanta Fed, Stanford and the University of Chicago, companies have predicted that after the pandemic, 27% of their full-time employees would continue to work from home, most a few days a week. Other business surveys have shown that they expect at least 40% of the workforce to continue working remotely.
In all organizations, work was most effective when employees were at home one or two days a week. “It creates a change, where time in the office is spent on collaborative work, innovative work, holding meetings, and time at home is spent on targeted work”, comments Stefanie Tignor, director of data and analysis at Humu, a company that makes tools to encourage people to optimize their time at work.
Towards a hybrid diet?
Today, the pandemic has forced companies to conduct a large-scale experiment on remote working. And so far, the results have been largely positive. Some specialists argue that working at a distance is even conducive to the generation of ideas. It allows you to take breaks, exercise or think in silence.
40% of those interviewed for the new survey said that the quality of their work had improved when working remotely during the pandemic, compared to 27% who did not and 29% who did did not know.
The ideal work configuration is one where everyone works at home or in the office on the same days each week, and where everyone knows which days are spent collaborating and which days are spent in targeted work. Unfortunately, we will have to wait for the end of the epidemic to experiment with this hybrid working regime …