In the past decade, 83% of companies in the U.S. have adopted or planned to adopt some sort of flexible working policy according to research from IWG. Although less than a quarter of full-time workers regularly work from home, experts believe that the COVID-19 outbreak could change that.
“An entire country and culture has required its workforce to go online,” said Aaron Holt, a Houston-based labor and employment attorney. “Now we’re seeing a whole lot of employers figuring out ways to make this work.”
People have started acclimating to this new way of working relatively quickly, and once the dust has settled, the way we work will likely change for good.
Companies who adapt to these changes will have success in the post-coronavirus world. Now that several firms have had the practice and infrastructure in place, introducing everyday remote work policies should be a given.
Additionally, including remote work policies can create a more diverse workplace as companies can have access to a broader talent pool. This means less hiring bias based on geographical location, as well as more opportunities for women, people of color and people with disabilities.
Remote working has also been found to improve productivity, despite the common misconception that it can hurt workers’ ability to get things done. In fact, a study from the Stanford Graduate School of Business that followed office workers at China’s largest travel agency found that those who worked from home had a 13% improvement in performance.