LinkedIn believes that remote work will not disrupt in-person work once the pandemic is over. LinkedIn’s principal economist, Guy Berger, told Yahoo Finance that he’s found that a lot of people “want to be in the office”. At the same time, employers find it easier to manage in that format, which is why they would prefer employees to be in the office as soon as possible.
The coronavirus pandemic has raised a lot of questions regarding the future of work environments in general. Quarantine measures have forced many companies to quickly transition to a work-from-home format. Researchers are studying whether or not this type of setup is sustainable.
As more cities reopen, employers are questioning workers’ appetite to return to the office. “There’s more appetite to return to normal from a lot of people, both employees and bosses, than people currently appreciate,” Berger said. “Despite gloomy predictions, that desire is likely to rise once a vaccine becomes available.”
On the other hand, Stanford University economist Nick Bloom suggests that working from home may not just be a temporary side effect of the pandemic. Many white-collar workers will be strongly encouraged to work from home at least for some time over the next year or so.
In 2015, Bloom published a study that found that Chinese call center employees who worked from home were 13 percent more productive than employees in a control group because they took fewer breaks and made more calls per minute. They were also happier and were less likely to quit their job. This shows that remote work has its benefits.
Some companies may even allow many of their employees to remain remote on a permanent basis, granted that they are still producing results.
However, remote work also poses its own unique set of challenges. For example: family members walking in while workers are on important phone calls and online meetings. This is not a problem for people in the office.