As employees have begun returning to office environments, numerous surveys and observations have been made concerning the “new normal” or post-COVID work environment.
These surveys tend to consider resource availability, productivity, and quality of life situations at a macro level.
In resource availability and planning, we consider what an employee needs to accomplish a given set of tasks.
For example, a scientist might need to measure metabolites using a mass spec machine. Since they may not have one of these readily available at home, they need to be in a lab to do their work or perform experiments.
This is not to suggest that they couldn’t perform some of the data analysis work involved in such experiments at home. Alongside staggered schedules, this work-from-home system is precisely how many companies have operated during the pandemic.
Regarding executive’s thoughts on this, a recent McKinsey article states, “The majority of executives expect that (for all roles that aren’t essential to perform on-site) employees will be on-site between 21 and 80 percent of the time, or one to four days per week.”
How about employee preferences?
According to a recent Bloomberg article, “a May survey of 1,000 US adults showed that 39% would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The generational difference is clear: among millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49%”
One of the ways employers can strike the optimal balance is by really considering what work activities can be done at home or in an office.
Strategy sessions, celebrations, and creative work are examples of work that may be performed best in an office environment. Meanwhile, data analysis, reading, writing, and review are examples of work that can be performed at home.
However, we should pay attention to the knowledge transfer that can more easily happen within an office environment. The absence of this transfer may adversely impact early career professionals, so we should also consider our employee experience mix when making these decisions.
What are your thoughts about the work environment of the future?
If you’d like help understanding and overcoming these issues in your workplace, please contact us.