OE Arlington PO view National Cathedral

The New Normal

As Shelter-in-Place orders are continuing to change, most of you are unsure if you are going to be able to return to your “old” workplaces or if working from home will be the new normal.

The suddenness of the plan to work from home didn’t allow for careful, organized structures and most of us struggled with creating a professional environment in a space not suited for it.  Our homes are usually our sanctuary, a place for family and friends to gather, for kids to be loud and playful, for elders to rest and savor daily quiet, and for sick loved ones to recuperate. 

Having to not only find a quiet, organized place to work was challenging enough but finding a suitable place to hold virtual meetings with no interruptions was practically impossible with kids doing virtual classes online and another partner having the same professional needs. Social media is filled with hilarious and frustrating moments of these struggles.

Difficult as it has been, working from home has also brought about some incredible benefits, including:

NO COMMUTES—giving many of us an hour or two (or more!) of extra time to spend on whatever we wanted or needed.  Exercise, caring for small children, walking the dog, family game night, cooking and baking, hobbies — you name it.  Social media is also full of these examples! (For instance, how many loaves of banana bread did you make?)

The lack of commuting not only gave us the gift of time but also cleared the air, reducing pollution levels to record lows. 

It also saved us money on gas and car maintenance. Some insurance companies actually rebated their customers’ monthly payments!

Office Evolution is ready and willing to help you find office space for rent that is closer to home, which allows you to continue to reap the benefits of working from home in a professional environment set up to maximize your individual needs.  There are no doorbells that set dogs off barking, no pets of any kind to distract you, no children scootering through your important business presentation, and no roommates walking half-dressed through your Zoom meeting for your entire team to see. Our team will help you assess your needs for the budget you have, providing you with flexible terms and room to grow your business.

Here are a few of the recent workforce surveys on working from home:

BusinessFinancial.com June 3, 2020 says:

Even After COVID-19, Execs Expect Remote Work Trend To Continue

Companies that had more remote workers before COVID-19 report that they are actually seeing increased employee productivity during the crisis, according to a new survey.

A new survey from The Conference Board reveals that 77% of human resources executives expect the trend toward remote work to continue, even one year after COVID-19 substantially subsides.

Among the companies that were prepared for remote work, many are self-reporting an increase in productivity now, during the crisis.

  • 37 percent of companies that had more remote workers before COVID-19 report that they are actually seeing increased employee productivity now, during the crisis.
  • This self-reported boost in productivity suggests the immense potential of remote work – and the flexibility it provides – to improve performance and results.

Another survey, by Global Workplace Analytics, also sees a huge potential for continuing work-from-home (WFH). Currently, only 3.6% of the employee workforce works at home half-time or more, while Gallup Data from 2016 shows that 43% of the workforce works from home less than half-time.

“Our best estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.”

—Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics

Lister’s survey cites seven reasons why working remotely will increase:

1. Increased demand for remote work from employees—Before the COVID crisis, 80% of employees wanted to work from home. While the current experience of working from home was less than ideal, it has given people a taste of what could be and the genie is out of the bottle.

2.   Reduced fear about work-from-home among managers and executives—This pandemic situation has led to trust among managers who were concerned about how to manage people they couldn’t “see”.  Managers who have had to work remotely now understand better how to manage for results, rather than conventional terms of counting “butts in seats”.

3.    Increased pressure for work-from-home for disaster preparedness— Organizational leaders learned the hard way this time about what gaps existed in their preparedness for a disaster.  These gaps can now be closed to be prepared for possible future disruptions in business as normal.

4.    Increased awareness of cost-saving opportunities in work-from-home— Occupancy studies show that employees are not at their desk 50-60% of the time which is a huge waste of current office space. 

5.     Increased awareness of the potential impact of work-from-home on sustainability— The pandemic has provided a startling vision of what effect our commuter activities have on the environment, and how relatively easy it could be to keep up some of these practices and continue to lessen our carbon footprint.

6.      Reduced business travel— While virtual meetings may not have ALL the same benefits of being face-to-face, the savings may outweigh the costs and justify substantially reducing the need to travel.

7.     $30 billion a day is what US employers have been saving during this COVID crisis by having employees work from home.—Obviously, not all employers were prepared to switch during this crisis but look at the savings for those employers who were.  

This may be the tipping point for remote work.

At Office Evolution, we can help you make the case to your employer for providing you with an office space, meeting space, or virtual space.  We look forward to discussing the options available to you and to striding forward into the New Normal with you!