NEW YORK — An overwhelming majority of U.S. employees who are currently working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic don't want to return to the office full-time, a new study finds.
According to a survey by the people management platform Hibob, only 10% of employees surveyed want to go back to brick-and-mortar offices.
In addition, 73% of managers polled said two or three days in the office and the rest working from home would be the preferred hybrid work model.
"There's been so much emphasis on the vaccine and a 'return to normalcy' that is supposed to restore happiness and business as usual," said Hibob CEO Ronni Zehavi. "Employees have established a strong rhythm with this [work from home] structure, and it's going to be really hard to shock people back into the workplace five days a week just because they are vaccinated."
Zehavi said working from home has benefited employees in various ways including increased flexibility, a better work/life balance, adjusted hours, and more time with family.
"We should not take a step backwards but instead, companies must create flexible, hybrid workplaces to keep their employees happy and engaged," Zehavi said.
The workplace isn't the only area of society where people would like to maintain that sense of flexibility.
According to a new survey by the American Psychological Association, 49% of adults feel uneasy about returning to in-person interactions once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
In addition, 48% of those who are vaccinated said they feel uneasy about returning to in-person interactions.
READ THE SURVEY:
Two years ago this is what a typical school day looked like for students at Space of Mind Schoolhouse.
“We’ve coined the term social homeschooling," said Ali Kaufman, the founder of the Delray Beach private school. “We are serving student full-time K-12 then we have a gap year program for post high school graduates and they are actually enrolled as homeschoolers in the district.”
She says when COVID-19 caused many brick and mortar schools to temporarily shut down, they went virtual. She says for them it was a seamless transition.
“At a time where students in traditional programs were really struggling to have a meaningful experience, last spring our kids had an opportunity to continue thriving," Kaufman said.
Ali says they recently expanded to a bigger 10,000 square foot building. Before their 55 students and 22 person staff came back to the classroom they partnered with Delray Beach based company Campbell Creative to create an experience fit for a post pandemic world.
“This year we were able to give each group a wing of their own on campus. Every group had their own bathroom, their own air-conditioning unit and their own entrance," Kaufman said.
“It’s really working with business owners to shift the culture mentally, at an executive level and then shift the culture in those workspaces to accommodate this new hybrid work model," said Courtney Campbell, the founder of Campbell Creative.
She’s helping businesses to rebrand and make their offices more appealing to attract and retain employees.
“Really look at your core office, where you’re asking these individuals to work. Does any part of it feel welcoming and inviting?” Campbell said.
Courtney says small perks can also be a bonus.
“Something as simple as like popsicles on Friday, or everybody leaves at 2 o’clock every other Friday in the summer. There are ways to add perks without really effecting your bottom line," Campbell said.