By Joan Honig, DocuWare – Work at the office or work from home (WFH)? Before COVID-19, many of us didn’t have a choice. Millennials, who the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will make up 75% of the workforce by 2030, were already questioning traditional attitudes about remote work. They value flexibility and work/life balance more than their baby boomer and Gen X counterparts do. So, lockdowns that made WFH a necessity only accelerated a growing trend – the desire to control where and when you work.
YPulse, a research organization that focuses on millennials and Gen Z, reports that in April 2020, 87% of millennials surveyed said that flexible work hours and the ability to work from anywhere are important to them. Their research indicates that allowing employees to work from home when they want to, and having systems and structures set up to do so, will continue to be a vital element for attracting next-generation talent.
The changing atmosphere in the modern office supports WFH full time or a hybrid model. Due to the pandemic, companies are rethinking office layouts to prioritize health and safety for employees who come back to the workplace. Employees who return to the office will likely be separated by plastic dividers, and higher cube walls. Restrictions on the number of people who can meet in conference rooms and the number of employees who can be in the office at one time will also limit in-person contact. This is another reason that working remotely, at least part of the time, will be the right choice for many knowledge workers. Digital tools, like document management, offset the effects of social distancing in a reconfigured office and better connect employees who WFH by offering a single shared source of information and an easy-to-use collaborative platform.