- Gallup analysis projects that in-office work days will shrink by 37 percent compared to 2019 once current conditions stabilize
- Estimate is based on surveys of remote workers, the majority of whom want to continue working from home at least some of the time
- Employers will need to find the right balance between encouraging interpersonal interactions and accommodating the greater demand for remote work flexibility
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
Remote work will cut in-office work days by more than one-third once conditions stabilize after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Gallup analysis.
Jim Clifton, Gallup’s president and CEO, and Ben Wigert, Gallup’s director of research and strategy for workplace management, say half of all workers have reported that their job can be done remotely. Interviewing a representative sample of these workers, they found that 30 percent would like to continue working remotely, 10 percent want to return to the office, and 60 percent want a mix of the two.
From this data, Clifton and Wigert concluded that the number of days spent on in-office work will drop by 37 percent compared to 2019.
The situation creates a challenge for employers who want to foster interpersonal collaborations and innovation while also acknowledging that employees are reluctant to come into the office every day of the week after the extensive remote work arrangements established during the pandemic. Workers cited the elimination of a commute, personal well-being, and more flexibility in work-life balance as the major benefits of remote work.
Clifton and Wigert said employers need to determine what’s best for each team member when setting their own strategies. They said emphasizing clear goals and having brief coaching sessions via videoconferencing will be essential.