With remote work likely remaining a permanent feature in our future workforce, companies can support their employees with proper equipment.
Back in June, M Moser Associates ran a study on COVID-19’s impact on views toward remote versus in-office work. At the time, the research found that 61 percent of workers wanted to return to the office but not without retaining some of the flexibility that working from home offers. Losing freedom and flexibility was the second most cited concern (22 percent) after fears about health and safety (42 percent).
What’s more, the survey shed light on an important aspect missing from the standard home office: easy sourcing of ergonomic furniture and enterprise-level technology hookups. After all, a home office with an IKEA desk and a chair from Amazon works well when you’re taking an evening conference call or perhaps working from home when your child has a sick day but it certainly can’t replace commercial-grade equipment when your home office transitions to become your everyday office.
In fact, the M Moser Associates study “Re-entering the Workplace: COVID-19 Survey Results” found that 47 percent of respondents experienced “significant” challenges while working remotely. The study also suggested that, in order to make working from home a permanent solution, companies will need to consider providing equipment and financial allowances for the improvement of home workspaces.
Flash forward to the end of 2020, and we’re not only still working remotely, but we’re also faced with the likelihood of some form of remote work remaining a permanent feature in our future workforce. Companies have learned more about the good, the bad, and the ugly of remote working, and they are beginning to set plans to incorporate many of those lessons into future hybrid models. And as Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, notes, “We’ve acknowledged that remote work will be part of our future and, after recognizing that 2020 may not have the best financial numbers, some companies have consciously decided to absorb the up-front spend for proper, commercial-grade home office setups in the 2020 fiscal year. After all, you can purchase something like 300 ergonomic chairs for the price of one workers’ comp claim. It’s really a no-brainer when you think about it.”
So what are companies doing to support employee home office setups? “The solutions are still evolving,” says Lister, “but they are beginning to coalesce.”
What will remote work look like post-COVID-19?
According to Owl Labs’ “State of Remote Work 2020” report, one in two employees say they won’t return to a job that doesn’t offer remote work. That’s a massive percentage of the workforce that major corporations must consider in their future plans. Yet, according to the research, nearly 75 percent of companies don’t yet have a formal remote work policy in place.
Those that do have a plan are considering a three-tiered approach where a portion of the office works most of their time in the office, a second portion works most of their time remotely, and the third is a hybrid role. She adds, “In these situations, companies usually draw the line on when you get a dedicated desk versus a hoteling situation. Many times, the line is drawn at three days a …….