Working remotely has increasingly gained popularity since the global COVID-19 outbreak. Since March 2020, several businesses have migrated to remote work.
Now, as countries around the world are gradually controlling the prevalence and severity of the virus, organizations are finding that several employees are yet hesitant to return to the office. As several businesses attempt to recall employees to work on-site, a new study by Limeade has revealed that employees are anxious about going back to offices.
The study reveals that a staggering 100 percent of employees are worried about returning to workplaces. They are, rightly, very concerned about exposure to COVID-19. The work from home model offered employees increased flexibility, which they now feel they will lose.
Working remotely permitted employees the luxury of more time. Travelling to and from work eats a major chunk into the business day. Remote work eliminates the dreaded commute, essentially making employees more productive.
77 percent of the respondents to the Limeade survey felt that being exposed to COVID-19 was a major reason for back-to-work anxiety. The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to rethink their future business models.
Most employees will choose to quit
A second survey by career website FlexJobs found that employees do not wish to return to the office. 58 percent of remote workers surveyed said they would “absolutely” look for a new job if they were pressured to return to on-site work at offices.
Employers left concerned
This has forced several employers to rethink bringing their workforce back to the office. The FlexJobs survey found that 65 percent of employees wanted to continue working remotely on a full-time basis post-COVID-19. While 33 percent of employees preferred a hybrid work arrangement – a combination of remote and in-office work, just 2 percent of employees would choose to return to the office on a full-time basis.
Working remotely: employees crave flexibility
Today, employees are more aware of the importance of mental health. They better appreciate the time spent with loved ones and family at home. Working remotely has afforded them this flexibility. They do not want to lose this flexibility.
Research from startup workforce platform Envoy shows that 47 percent of workers were likely to leave their jobs if their companies did not offer a hybrid work model. It is likely organizations that refuse to adapt to remote and hybrid work going forward will risk losing valuable talent.
COVID-19: The biggest remote work experiment
Now, most business leaders do not expect to see all employees present on-site. Experts have found that remote working has worked seamlessly for most organizations. Most employees largely favor working remotely.
Today, working remotely has become a business necessity. COVID-19 has shaken the system, leaving businesses no alternative, if they wanted to remain operational.
Also read: How COVID-19 Has Impacted Talent Acquisition