Is Remote & Hybrid Work Here to Stay?
The concept of telecommuting was coined over forty years ago by NASA engineer Jack Nilles, who was working remotely on a complex communication system. While working from home is not a new concept, no one could have predicted the shift that took place in early 2020.
In fact, remote and hybrid workplace management is among one of the 5 HR Technology Trends to Monitor in 2021. Many employees have been afforded a remote or hybrid opportunity thanks to innovation and the availability of technological resources, plus the flexibility many organizations have exhibited as they were forced to adapt to changing circumstances. As odd as it may seem, we may have the COVID-19 pandemic to thank for the ongoing focus on remote and hybrid work.
Before the pandemic, only six percent1 of the workforce worked primarily from home, but seemingly overnight the number grew to thirty-five percent2. Companies had a new reason to find solutions that would allow employees to work remotely. Organizations that invested in proper technology in turn have successfully implemented remote and hybrid workplace options. Many created a virtual workplace that fosters a collaborative environment where team members communicate effectively and work efficiently, despite the logistical challenges at hand. Employers who were once reluctant to embrace the idea of employees working from home found and have adopted solutions that made it possible.
Just as the pandemic changed the way many of us work, it has also accentuated the ever-changing expectations of employees and job seekers. According to a 2021 workplace survey, a more flexible schedule (including hybrid work arrangements) and generous paid-time-off are among the top requests. With this top of mind, many employers are seeking permanent, full-time remote, and hybrid options to further increase employee retention and attract top talent.
1 US Census Bureau | 2 U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics