A little more than a year ago, most of the U.S. workforce likely never even considered working from home one day a week, let alone full-time.
Now, as the coronavirus pandemic extends into its second year, the idea of working from home has become commonplace and many workers. In fact, almost half of those who took an anonymous survey through the Blind community of verified professionals say they want to work from home full-time now.
A user on Blind, which boasts 4 million users, began running a survey gauging whether tech and finance professionals, given a choice to return to the office today, would consider going back. About 10% of professionals on Blind say they are already back in the office, according to results.
Almost 2,500 users across major companies show intentions of limiting their time physically going to the office. 19% anticipate returning to the office after they are personally vaccinated.
“Only 10% strongly favor the office. 40% strongly favor WFH,” wrote one Microsoft employee. “The remaining 50% are on the spectrum. What more clarity are companies looking for? People push your companies for permanent WFH (work from home) options. That is the future.”
More About Employee Sentiment on WFH
A Blind user at Intel brings up another interesting point.
“Without networking, the overall career will be impacted, changing jobs will be harder,” the Intel employee wrote. “Eventually, all the jobs will end up going to other countries and so worldwide competition. WFH is good for settled ones but people in early careers are certainly impacted.”
An Expedia Group employee writes, “I want to be WFH but able to go into the office when I choose to. I don’t want a predefined set amount of days I must be WFH or at the office per week. I want to have the freedom to divide those days as I please.”
Without employee buy-in, even the best-crafted plans are likely to run into trouble. Management teams should lead with empathy and demonstrate an understanding that while all of their employees have experienced this crisis, they haven’t all experienced it the same way.
Employees are expecting to be welcomed back with the level of flexibility they have become accustomed to this past year. We’ll see how AV integrators and manufacturers handle the transition. Some jobs require the employee to be in the office regularly but we’ve learned most don’t today.
Many companies—including the one for which I work—are in the process of or have already crafted WFH policies for their employees. Maybe those policies weren’t considered much in the past but they have become among the most important duties of an HR director in today’s work environment.