If it has not been apparent from what we have seen with the last wave of covid-19 cases, remote work is not going anywhere, and neither is covid-19. With different variants popping up every six months or so, the conversation has shifted from “when the pandemic ends” to “if the pandemic ends.”
As we are entering the third calendar year of the pandemic, it is naïve to believe we are going back to the old ways of work any time soon. Even though we know workers are just as productive remotely as they are in person (links to Sharp Decisions’ productivity article), some people still want to return to the office.
Companies must be creative and flexible, offering different forms of workplaces to attract wide swaths of talent. There must be a balanced workplace culture for those who are productive at home and wish to stay there, and for other workers who wish to come into the office either full-time or in a hybrid model. The one-shoe-fits-all model of the workplace is now outdated, and meeting your employees where they are at, to an extent, is the best practice.
Because workers are just as efficient and productive at home as they are in the office, there is no sacrifice being made by keeping workers at home, potentially avoiding covid spread throughout the office. With the end of the omicron wave in sight, managers still must remain vigilant to keep employees safe from widespread covid outbreaks in the office.
Looking forward to later in 2022, should covid cases begin to settle as they had in previous years during the summer months, it is still likely that workers will remain working remotely. Workers enjoy their time at home, and since they are just as productive, there’s little reason to revert to outdated ways of working five days per week in the office.