Though our masks were able to come off, the tug-of-war between organizations and associates for the option of remote and hybrid work is still on. The COVID-19 pandemic shook the state of the world and left an aftershock of prevailing questions surrounding the future of life. The way we operated within our relationships, environments, and careers rapidly changed, prompting us to create new standards of normal to navigate an unfamiliar version of reality. Adapting to these new ways of living has redefined what a successful career entails, specifically to commuting working-class individuals and their respective CEOs. Working in person exists as an option many are willing to pass up in favor of the comforts and conveniences of home, while others favor returning to the workplaces for interaction, increase in productivity, networking opportunities, and overall career satisfaction. As we continue to recover post-pandemic and reinvent what standards of life will prevail, the question on the minds of organizations and associates still stands: What is to come for the future of remote working opportunities?
The Pressure for Productivity
The urgency of corporations to return to traditional work environments continues to grow, specifically for the concern of productivity, as many CEOs are under the impression productivity is linked to being present in the office. Corporations consistently gauged workers’ opinions on RTO with surveys and questionnaires, serving as gentle attempts to coax them back into work life pre-pandemic, while a number of businesses have taken more direct routes by making it mandatory for all employees to return to their workplaces.
While managers and CEOs push to implement the Return to Office (RTO) movement in favor of replenishing productivity and active participation levels, the constant conversation surrounding the future of remote work comes to the dismay of those who’ve grown fond of replacing long commuting hours for quality time with loved ones, reportedly higher productivity levels, and lower stress levels. A 2022 report from Future Forum claims in its title that it’s executives who are feeling the most strain of leading work in the ‘new normal’, and states employees with remote and hybrid schedules report 29% higher productivity and 53% greater ability to focus than workers with fixed schedules.
The Growing Need for Flexible Opportunities
Having an ample amount of time is always considered a luxury, and time management has always been a coveted skill, as well as a benefit to the remote work lifestyle. On average, two hours of time that would’ve be spent commuting are saved everyday by those who work from home, according to a study conducted by Global Survey of Working Arrangements and the National Bureau of Economic Research. “That’s a large time savings, especially when multiplied by hundreds of millions of workers around the world,” the study claims. When considering how much can be accomplished in two hours, it’s no surprise why many see the benefits of remote working and continue to seek out opportunities that allow for better work and life balance. LinkedIn’s recent Workforce Confidence Index predicts that Work from Home (WFH) positions may be on the uptick again from 2021. LinkedIn Market research surveyed approximately 247,230 US professionals concluding the popularity of remote work has risen from 25% to 28% since October 2022, according to the latest Workforce Confidence survey.
The Disconnect Between Multi-Generational Opinions
The desire for remote work varies amongst different generations who are beginning to enter and exit the work force, fluctuating based on how the pandemic affected their views. Young Millennials and recent Generation Z university graduates have shed light on their expectations of what a career will continue to look like. A 2023 Joblist Job Market Trends Report highlighted percentages of each generation that favored certain job opportunities. After surveying 30,000 people over the course of three months, conclusions shared that 6% of people are seeking fully remote roles, 44% desire in-person positions, and 19% prefer a hybrid role. Nearly half of Millennials would like a fully remote job, nearly twice the share of Gen Z’ers, who mostly want in-person jobs (57%). Overall, 36% of job seekers are looking for fully remote roles this year, 44% want an in-person position, and 19% prefer a hybrid option.
The pandemic shed light on the new realities of the world and highlighted the importance of meeting the needs of the people, extending into their careers. Remote and hybrid-based work opportunities grow scarce due to CEO concerns of decreased productivity, but hybrid opportunities prove to be a conclusion both parties can agree on, a middle ground managers and associates can attest to. Traditionalist leaders push for employees to return to offices, in fear of decreasing productivity levels as previously discussed and dismissed, due to employees favoring more flexible schedules. One thing is for sure: a taste of more flexible career options has left the occupational pallete of many searching for more opportunities that benefit them. The future of remote work is alive and fighting, appearing in slightly foreseeable future many people aren’t exclusively searching for, but aren’t giving up on either.
What is your take on this topic? Are you for remote work or the return of in-person employment? Let us know in the comments or share on social media to spark meaningful conversations. And remember, regardless of where you work, nothing should stop you from achieving the professional growth you have been dreaming of.
Insider – Here’s a list of major companies requiring employees to return to the office – https://www.businessinsider.com/companies-making-workers-employees-return-to-office-rto-wfh-hybrid-2023-1
Future Forum Pulse – Executives feel the strain of leading in the ‘New Normal’ – https://futureforum.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Future-Forum-Pulse-Report-Fall-2022.pdf
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Global Study of Working arrangements- TIME SAVINGS WHEN WORKING FROM HOME – https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w30866/w30866.pdf
LinkedIn – Remote Work’s Diehard Fans Finally Gain Some Cheery News – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/remote-works-diehard-fans-finally-gain-some-cheery-news-george-anders/
Joblist – 2023 United States Job Market Trends Report – https://www.joblist.com/jobs-reports/2023-trends-united-states-job-market-report
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