3 in 4 Workers Want to Stay Remote After the Pandemic — but Are Employers Ready? - OZY | A Modern Media Company
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The workplace disruption might be permanent.

By Pallabi Munsi

In just a matter of days, the coronavirus pushed people inside their homes, accelerating a digital transformation across workplaces around the world. 

Getting workers out of their homes and back into offices is going to prove harder. According to a new survey by researchers at India-based workplace services firm Ionotrics and San Diego–based Global Workplace Analytics:

77 percent of the workforce wants to continue to work from home at least part of the time once the pandemic is over.

That’s a 132 percent increase from before the coronavirus crisis, according to the Work-from-Home Experience Survey in which more than 2,600 employees from around the world participated. A large migration from urban centers may have contributed to this shift.

But are companies prepared to make the transition?

A recent Gartner survey of 99 chief financial officers and finance leaders reveals that “most executive teams are still trying to decide what factors they should use to determine when and how to reopen” their office spaces. Forty-four percent are unsure how employees will be brought back to work.

Alexander Bant, practice vice president of research for Gartner Finance, blames the chaos on “lack of planning.” Still, he says, most companies appear to be preparing to continue operations without having employees in the office anytime soon. Only 4 percent of the CFOs in the Gartner study said “their organizations will require employees to immediately return to the office,” says Bant, even once state and local authorities approve the reopening of physical facilities.

In the meantime, if employee demand for work-from-home options continues to grow, some physical offices might not need to ever reopen.

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