The sudden transition to remote working has caused whiplash for many workers who are adjusting to their makeshift home offices for the first time.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 7% of people were given the option to work flexibly despite over half of US employees having jobs that could be performed in a flexible environment.
Now, experts believe that even once stay-at-home orders are lifted, many companies will continue to adopt remote working options and reevaluate their office spaces.
“I think this is going to change the nature of the office,” said Peter Schwartz, chief future officer at Salesforce and a member of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s California Future of Work Commission. “It’s going to be a place where we come together, not where we do work. The reason people want to go to an office is to be with other people — we’re naturally gregarious animals. Informal communications don’t happen when working alone via electronic means.”
Schwartz added that while companies will likely start opting to rent flexible workspace rather than large buildings, it is still untelling what the impact of our current situation will have on how we work in general.
While it is impossible to determine what teleworking after the pandemic will look like, it is certain to spur a major societal shift for the workforce in general.