As Offices Plan To Reopen, Employees Are Anxious About Getting Back to Their Desks

Mandatory Credit: Photo by CLEMENS BILAN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10070410ad)An employee walks past a Google logo at the new Google office in Berlin, Germany, 22 January 2019.

After a year of working remotely, the thought of returning to the daily commute leaves many workers feeling a little uneasy. As companies begin to reopen, many are curious as to how employees’ expectations have shifted.

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According to a Harvard Business School Online survey, respondents experienced professional and personal wins while working from home. Despite fighting Zoom fatigue, the 1,500 people surveyed said they were able to grow in their careers while spending more time with family.

Workers are asking to continue working remotely or to switch to a hybrid work model due to growing concerns for health and safety. To appeal to those reluctant to return to the office, many companies are adopting a more flexible work policy.

Tech company Salesforce is offering their employees flexibility in how and when they work that they say will “unlock new growth opportunities” and “drive greater equality.” Other big names such as Ford, Target, Citigroup and TIAA are giving employees the option to work remotely more frequently.

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As the world begins its return to normalcy, employers won’t always remain flexible. Google, a company that first sent its employees home, is now calling workers back to the office. After Sept. 1, employees who want to work remotely for more than 14 days per year will need to apply, according to Google’s internal documents.

While many don’t want to give up the free time they had while working remotely, others miss the connection they had with colleagues. Splitting time between home and the office is likely to become the new normal.

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Envoy partnered with Wakefield Research surveyed 1,000 workers to better understand how the workplace experience will need to change. The survey found that 47% of employees would likely leave their job if it didn’t offer a hybrid work model once the pandemic ends. The pandemic revealed that alternatives to the traditional 9-to-5 office job work well and it’s not something that people will give up on easily.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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