This year, MIT put out a survey of 25,000 American workers and found that 34 percent of those who’d been employed four weeks before April said they’re currently working from home. Mixed with the roughly 15 percent who said they’d been working from home pre-COVID-19, nearly half the U.S. workforce might now be remote workers. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to adopt a work-from-home model rapidly. And while some struggled adjusting initially, many see the benefits that remote work presents compared to working onsite. And since COVID-19 is still a threat in the U.S., companies will likely continue to implement this remote work model and postpone their remote workers returning to work in-house.
Forced to Adapt
The spread of COVID-19 and its effects on the economy and the American workforce is genuinely unprecedented. It has led businesses to have no choice but to adapt to a remote workforce model. But while preparing for this change was limited, companies saw the benefits of making working from home the norm.
For small businesses, the benefits are wide-ranging. They can see savings on office space, equipment, supplies, and utilities by allowing employees to work remotely. They can also enjoy a boost in morale and productivity by giving their teams the flexibility to set their own schedules while keeping them on track using remote workforce management tools.
Remote work also opens up the opportunity to engage a wider talent pool. Instead of only looking for candidates in their immediate area who can travel to and from a location every day, a business can look at potential hires from virtually anywhere in the country. From freelancers in Boston to part-time workers in Boise to people with disabilities and mobility challenges who have the skills needed, the talent pool is endless. This leads to a diverse workforce and the potential for businesses to access more talent than ever.
Ready for Remote?
Remote work is more suited for information and computer-based workers, such as communications, business, and customer service. Other companies may not have the ability to support a remote workforce at the moment, and certain industries will never be able to adapt to this kind of work, such as production companies. Also worth noting is that some people who are now working remotely aren’t doing so because their employer likes it, but solely because it’s become a necessity at a time like this to keep things moving.
Still, remote work won’t be going away. In fact, it has transformed from a cool trend offered by companies to the future of how we work. This forced work-from-home model shows us that work-from-home schedule arrangements are a viable strategy for many companies and that it is likely to be true even following the pandemic’s slowdown.
What Employers Might Expect Once COVID-19 Fades Out
This past May, tech giants Twitter and Google announced that they were offering employees the option to permanently work from home. Now that remote work is possible for millions of workers in the U.S., the odds are that when the coronavirus is over, more employers will let their employees skip the office a few times per week.
By keeping remote work implemented into daily operations, businesses can save and downsize on office space and look to invest in the best business insurance model for their new work environment. Once businesses and individuals invest in the fixed costs of working remotely, they may choose to stay with the new strategies.
This will be due in part to staffers demanding it after getting used to working from home successfully and partly because it will reduce the cost of the business’ real estate. But employers also know that not every employee will want to work from home, either due to tech-related issues or the lack of sociability. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control are urging employees to keep a schedule and stay connected to coworkers more frequently to keep depression and loneliness at bay.
Also, employers know that managing remote staffers takes work, so, instead of having everyone work from home, businesses can set up a hybrid model where some people work from home, and others don’t.
About Byrnes Agency
At Byrnes Agency, we offer insurance solutions that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for personal policies or commercial coverage, we have the right coverage for you. To learn more about our products, contact us today at one of our two locations.
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