Before the pandemic, working from home was a fringe concept in workplace organizations. Yet when coronavirus came to the US, 95% of office workers transitioned to remote work at least part-time. After an extended trial period that has yet to end fully, 97% now say they prefer to work remotely. Remote work eliminates commute, improves work-life balance, and opens up more time for one’s family. Once again, technology has made the workplace less cumbersome and more efficient.
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Businesses want to incorporate remote work just as much as their workers do. For every employee a company allows to work from home 2 or 3 days a week, they save $11,000 in office overhead and labor-related costs. While they may foresee a different balance between remote and in-person, most businesses want to incorporate remote elements into their permanent working model. Since only 37% of US jobs can be done entirely at home, interest in hybrid workplace models grows across industries.
A hybrid workplace can take many forms. Some businesses may sometimes bring everyone into the office, while others only ask their leadership to come in. Some may centrally plan who is in the office when, while others leave it to the employee. The exact balance of remote to in-person matters less than ensuring that the new arrangement meets both employee and manager needs.
Creating a hybrid workplace requires the integration of digital and physical like never before. Designing meeting rooms with microphones, speakers, lighting, and displays will make teleconferencing as seamless as possible. Display remote attendees on a screen separate from shared content to give them their own space in the room. Embracing hybrid work as the future means rethinking how offices currently use technology. Collaboration improves when the needs of all parties are considered.
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