Will managers actually allow all-remote or hybrid work once offices fully re-open? That’s a pressing question as companies everywhere figure out when to bring employees back to the office, despite persistent concerns of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Analyst firm Robert Half recently queried 2,800 senior managers in multiple industries (finance, technology, marketing, legal, and more) about that very question. Many of those managers have concerns about hybrid work, which will allow employees to work from home a few days per week. Specifically, 22 percent voiced worries that hybrid work would interfere with team members’ ability to communicate with one another; another 20 percent feared they couldn’t trust employees to “get work done” from home.
Another 20 percent thought hybrid work would make it more difficult to determine proper workloads and help employees avoid burnout, while the same percentage felt that rewarding employee accomplishments would be harder in a hybrid environment. Slightly fewer (19 percent) are concerned about finding time for team development when various employees are working from home on any given day.
Despite those concerns, sizable percentages of managers in most cities are planning on allowing part- and full-time remote work. Check out the chart:
One interesting thing to note: If you check out Robert Half’s full data set, you’ll notice that Austin is dead last (with 13 percent). That’s perhaps a little odd, considering Austin’s reputation as a cutting-edge tech hub, filled with companies that offer employees all sorts of perks and benefits. Perhaps that low percentage stems from companies in industries other than tech, but it’s hard to tell.
Based on data from Dice’s 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report, some 85 percent of technologists find the prospect of hybrid work anywhere from somewhat to extremely desirable. Ninety-four percent of younger technologists (i.e., those between 18 and 34 years old) think of a hybrid workplace as either somewhat, very or extremely desirable, compared to 84 percent of those aged 35 and older.
According to the Report, more than a quarter of technologists (26 percent) believe they’ll be allowed to work remotely full-time (i.e., five days per week) once COVID-19 restrictions permanently lift.
Managers who insist all technologists come back to the office may be in for rude awakening. A July paper by researchers Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, and Steven J. Davis revealed that roughly 40 percent of those Americans “who currently work from home at least one day a week” would leave their current employment if their bosses made them return to the office full-time. After 15+ months of working remotely, technologists feel they can do their jobs perfectly well from their home office—and many are willing to push back hard against an employer who tries to take that away from them.