Post-COVID-19: U.S. Employee hybrid workplace demand

August 10, 2021

Business Engineer

The days of physically reporting to an office every day may be over, like renting a movie from blockbuster, perhaps the work week like digital media is about to change. However there is a disconnect between U.S. executives and employees over how many days workers should be in the office.

More than half (55 percent) of 1,200 workers surveyed between Nov. 24 and Dec.5 of 2020 preferred working remotely three days a week. Meanwhile, 68 percent of 133 U.S. executives said workers should be in the office at least 3 days a week, citing concerns that company culture will not survive a completely remote work schedule.

Does Remote Work Affect Company Culture

An organizations culture is not going to go away if people work remotely, said Deniz Caglar, a partner at PwC and co-author of Fit for Growth: A Guide to Strategic Cost Cutting, Restructuring, and Renewal (Wiley, 2016).

Your culture is not your office; it's what you do as an organization, how you work together. What you do does not change because you're working virtually

Organizations also worry that their employees' engagement and loyalty will wane if those employees continue to work out of office.

Bringing employees back was a higher post-COVID-19 priority for U.S. respondents than for their global counterparts in Canada, China, Germany and Japan, according to a 2021 report from The Conference Board, which surveyed 1,538 C-suite executives after the November elections. Among the U.S. executives, 22 percent said returning workers to the office was a priority. Only 5 percent of respondents from the other countries said the same.

Organizations should consider one critical question, the report said: "Is the culture you had, and perhaps want to preserve, the right culture for this new environment?"

Making the Hybrid Model Work

This new model can work, PwC said in its report, but it is

a complicated way to organize the workweek and is likely to transform a company's culture, employee engagement, the way the work gets done and how office space is used.

Given the trends accelerated by the pandemic—the success of remote work on a large scale, the migration of workers to less-expensive locales, the redesigning of office space to accommodate social distancing—executive leaders need to quickly articulate what working in the office is meant to accomplish.

That clarity will enable them to reimagine how and where their work gets done, how much office space they need and how to support employees to be effective in any work environment," PwC said in its report.

An organization should weight the following factors to develop a successful hybrid model:

  • The nature of the employees' work and the job they perform
  • personality
  • employee tenure or experience level
  • Age
  • Timing

In the end you must take stock of what your employees are asking for and how you as a business can accommodate them without hurting your businesses performance. If you can accomplish this you will increase not only employment rate but also employee retention.

View Information regarding PwC's US Remote Work Survey - Janyart 12, 2021

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