At 1MFWF, we always want to highlight what’s happening around the country and across the globe pertaining to work flexibility. While our own blog features regular contributions from experts on this topic, we also keep an eye out for great articles elsewhere on the web.
Here are some recent news items not to miss, including several surveys that reached similar conclusions: many employees are eager to hold on to the flexible work options that were initiated during the pandemic.
A recent survey found some definite good news as more people began to work remotely during the pandemic: productivity is up, employees feel more connected, and younger workers are driving new workplace trends. Based on responses from 4,000 workers around the globe, the survey showed remote work has emerged as a “make or break” recruiting tool for employees. One takeaway is that employers would do well to keep tabs on what their workers are thinking and feeling as the new work landscape continues to take shape so that future workplace policies and practices reflect what workers want.
Inc., Mary Yang
The hybrid workplace is emerging as a potent and popular new work model as more companies move forward with plans to reopen offices after the pandemic. According to one survey, many respondents say they would prefer the flexibility to work remotely a few days a week, but not every day. In the survey of 1,000 full-time and part-time workers, some respondents said they would look for another job if their current employer did not offer a hybrid option to work from home for at least a few days of the workweek. More than 70% said they would prefer to continue with work-from-home options that were put in place when COVID-19 lockdown restrictions went into effect, according to findings based on an internal survey of employees of one company.
USAToday.com, Charisse Jones
Employers may need to provide more daycare help and more psychological support for remote and flexible workers dealing with challenges raised during the pandemic that may prove to be long-term. Researchers also found that, in some instances, the pandemic revealed workplace inequities that fell along gender and racial lines, with women and women of color, in particular, reporting that they received less support as parents than their white male peers who were working fathers. The findings were reported in the seventh annual Modern Family Index report by Bright Horizons, an organization devoted to high-quality education and childcare.
Bloomberg.com, Chris Hughes
The so-called “great pandemic work-from-home experiment” appears to be ending, but how many people work may be forever changed. One lasting effect is the ongoing pressure from employees for more control over when and where they work, and the press for adjustable schedules may only continue. Even though some work tasks may benefit from face-to-face interaction, the population of workers who want flexibility remains a powerful constituency, comprised of caregivers of young or elderly family members, millennials and baby boomers who have long been demanding work flexibility, and people seeking the ability to exercise, take health breaks, or otherwise attend to their general well-being.
Slate, Henry Grabar
Downtown districts of cities across America will be affected in the long term by the pandemic, as many workers continue to work remotely for much of the time. A working paper that crunched the data on responses from 30,000 employees across various industries found that many workers would take a cut in pay to keep in place options to work remotely. Researchers concluded that, after pandemic restrictions end, the amount of work done remotely will level off by 20%, but the amount of work being done from home or other non-office locations will be four times the amount of remote work being done before the pandemic.
The Harvard Crimson, Meera S. Nair and Andy Z. Wang
It’s still just an experiment, but Harvard University is allowing some employees to continue to work from home, as they have throughout the pandemic, for the remainder of 2021. The pilot project will incorporate more opportunities for remote and flexible work for current employees while allowing those who are ready to return to their campus-based jobs to do so. The plan at Harvard is to test various flexible and remote work models through the end of the current year, with the goal of developing formal flexible work policies in 2022 for the more than 5,000 people who work for the university.
Stay on Top of Work Flexibility News
Workplace trends affecting remote and flexible work can have a significant impact on your company’s plans for implementing sound guidelines for your employees. Join the efforts of 1 Million for Work Flexibility and stay abreast of best practices for work flexibility that can help you retain workers and attract top-tier job candidates.