The longer we work from home and away from our co-workers, the more being together matters. Zoom is not a replacement for human connection and a shared experience. In general, human beings want to meet face-to-face to be able to connect with each other again. As the things start to open back up here is what employees are expecting for returning to work in 2021:
Workers now expect the ability to work remotely. Employees are now demanding more autonomy in their work environment. Research shows that many organizations, maintained strong productivity when they suddenly had to transition to work from home last March.
The most recent Gensler Workplace Surveys in the U.S. found that those in a “hybrid model,” or those balancing days at the office with working from home appear more deliberate with how they use their time, have better awareness of what their colleagues are working on, and have higher job satisfaction overall. Given the increased importance of an agile organization, both to productivity and talent attraction and retention, businesses should consider flexible schedules that both meet the needs of the organization while catering to employees’ individual circumstances.
Employees’ variety of work settings must now include the home. Workers’ desire for autonomy in the workplace is not new. Gensler’s U.S. Workplace Survey, found that employers who provide a spectrum of choices for when and where to work were seen as more innovative. They also had higher-performing employees. That doesn’t mean that there is a one-size-fits-all strategy for all companies: many workers depend on specific resources at their office.
But the nature of work is changing — we’re becoming more versatile, agile, and collaborative. We need a wider array of solutions — both inside and outside the office — to support all workers. And as cities begin to reopen after the pandemic, third places, such as coffee shops or co-working spaces, will likely re-emerge as additional choices.
Great workplaces always supported more than just the work itself— now people expect health and wellness to be built into everything. Workers’ have a desire for a healthy workplace. As workers around the world reprioritize the importance of health and well-being, employers now face mounting pressure to support the physical and mental well-being for their employees. Employers have a variety of ways of meeting the wellness needs of their employees. This could include paying for gym memberships, on-site wellness centers or access to dieticians.
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