When the oil crisis of 1973 hit, North America saw itself in short supply of gas which hindered people’s ability to get to and from work.
This led to the idea of allowing employees working from home until the conflict was ironed out. Companies like IBM quickly realized that remote working had more benefits than a solution to temporary problems, like being able to expand their talent pool without investing into more office space.
In 2009, 40% of IBM’s employees worked out of an office sparingly, allowing the company to save $100 million annually.
Now, thanks to major advancements in technology, this work policy has become more accessible to other organizations.
However, prior to the pandemic, companies started investing even more money into their workspaces to be equipped with the latest technology and amenities. In 2017, IBM itself revealed it would be bringing 2,600 remote workers back into the office.
As health and safety has come to the forefront of most workers’ priorities, the office is not the best place to be. The pandemic has made physical distancing and frequent sanitation the norm, and the office could easily become a hub for illness if the proper precautions are not taken.
Still, this does not mean this is the end of the office. In fact, the office will continue to play a significant role in nurturing communication and hosting all-hands meetings.