Work-from-home is one of the biggest impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and it appears its a change that is here to stay.
As the pandemic swept the globe, companies big and small sent workers home to telecommute. Some even went so far as to provide budgets for their employees to buy what they needed for their home offices. Even as restrictions have eased up, many companies have decided to make work-from-home options a permanent option.
According to a new S&P Global Market Intelligence survey, 67% of enterprises expect their work-from-home policies to extend permanently, or at least for the long-term. S&P Global surveyed 575 IT decision-makers across a range of industries.
“As organizations are heading back to the office in the wake of COVID-19, it is important to quantify what changes materialized during these past few months as a potential indication for the future of work,” said Liam Eagle, Head of Voice of the Enterprise Research at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Leveraging timely data from our flash survey capabilities can help us better understand these changes and overall market sentiment, while enabling organizations to make informed business decisions during times of uncertainty.”
The survey found that only 19% of organizations intend to bring back employees as soon as possible, 25% in a month or more and 24% have no planned timeline. Not surprisingly, 79% see social distancing as the single biggest impediment to returning to normal office operations.
An interesting side effect is an expected reduction in office space. Some 47% of companies said they are likely to reduce their physical office space as a result of the pandemic and the changing work landscape, with at least 20% planning to reduce their office space by as much as 25%.
The survey is an interesting look at the long-term issues facing companies, and a barometer of just how much the pandemic has permanently changed the workplace.