The new normal isn’t so new anymore, and employees settling into flexible workplace models have proven that. However, changes could be on the horizon that could once again redefine what the workplace looks like.
According to the November PPIC Statewide Survey, 16% of California residents work from home full-time, while 19% work from home some of the time — a significant increase from the 5% seen prior to the pandemic.
So what can be expected from the future of remote working?
The answer is complex. Although research shows that Californians, and really most professionals, prefer some form of flexibility in their schedule, the pandemic is no longer the driver of this despite 65% of Californians saying so.
For 92% of respondents, remote work has helped them achieve a better work-life balance, while two-thirds agree this arrangement increases their productivity.
Still, the ability to have flexibility in the workplace depends on industry and position. For instance, retail and food service workers are unlikely to be able to work remotely, but gig workers for food delivery companies can achieve flexibility.
Not only does flexible work vary by industry, but it has also changed the landscape of the U.S. For example, many workers moved away from large cities at the onset of the pandemic in order to find lower-cost areas to live in — a trend that has maintained and left central districts struggling.
In 2023, flexible work could become less stable than in recent years as employers attempt another office-return, inflation grows and an approaching recession fuels anxiety into workers.