A year ago, before the pandemic, more than 100,000 people gathered in Charlotte’s central business district, North Carolina, to flow from offices, including recently built skyscrapers, to restaurants, bars, and sports venues. Later, when the coronavirus sent employees home, much of the city center quickly became quiet and dark.
The return of those employees to their office was stalled and difficult. Last fall, Fifth Third Bank began recalling workers, but soon reversed the course. Lending Tree, moving from the suburbs to the city, is waiting for the end of the school year. Wells Fargo has delayed his return to the office several times and has recently told employees that he will continue to work remotely until at least May 1. Duke Energy returned some employees in June, and most of the 6,000 people at headquarters should be able to return to school in September.
Business executives across the country are working on ways to reopen their offices as the pandemic is starting to loosen its grip. Companies, and many employees, are eager to return to some sort of regular work, return to the office, have lunch at their favorite restaurant, or stop by for a drink after work. But the world is changing, and many managers and workers likewise recognize the benefits of remotework.
While coronavirus cases are declining and vaccinations are increasing, many companies do not promise the time and strategy to bring back their employees. According to many executives, the most important variable is the time it takes most employees to get vaccinated.
Another important consideration revolves around the worker’s children. Companies say they can’t make a firm decision until they know when local schools will reopen for face-to-face learning.
Then there is the bigger question. Given that people have become accustomed to the rhythm of remotework, does it make sense to return to a pre-pandemic state?
Chuck McShane, Senior Vice President of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, said: “In some companies, it depends on the type of work you are doing and whether you can stay home. However, concerns about continuous telecommuting are raised by entry-level workers. How do you socialize into an office culture? “
According to Kastle Systems, an office security company that retrieves data from 3,600 buildings in the United States, about a quarter of its employees nationwide have recently been in office.
Many companies paying to rent empty office space are anxious to increase that number. Their management believes that working side by side improves collaboration, supports the development of younger employees, and fosters the heart and soul of any company, its culture.
As a result, some managers, such as Mark Rose, CEO of Avison Young, a Chicago-based commercial real estate consulting and property management company with offices around the world, are working to return to their offices in April. I am asking the members.
“If you don’t come back, you won’t be fired or written, but you’re expected to start returning, according to local law and individual issues,” he said. Rose said about his 5,000 employees. “It will definitely be expected.”
Of course, returning to the office in large numbers will benefit commercial real estate companies like Avison Young. Landlords whose income is threatened by companies moving or renting less space will sigh of relief. Many tenants have more space than they need. According to Savills, the amount of sublet office space available for rent surged nearly 50% last year in Manhattan, now accounting for 27% of total available space, the highest share since the period immediately following the 2008 financial crisis. ..
In addition, returning to the office will help revive the city center, which has been a ghost town for months. Restaurants and bars may re-employ, and returning commuters may generate the coveted income due to the struggling transportation system.
The pandemic process mainly decided to attend the office. According to Castle, the number plummeted in March and April last year as the pandemic took hold and began to rise slowly at the end of spring. Another surge in infectious diseases after Thanksgiving has reduced occupancy, but appears to be on the rise.
There are big differences depending on the region. In Texas’ big cities, more than one-third of workers are back, but New York, San Francisco, and Chicago remain less than 20%.
Some of these regional differences may be explained by how people work.
Harvard Business School’s Zedar Neely said: A professor who studies working from home.
Some companies, such as Vivint, a Provo-based home security company with more than 10,000 employees nationwide, have begun to return workers to their offices on their own initiative. It states.
Vivint allows 40% of Utah’s 4,000 employees to return home, but only about 20% choose to return home on a regular basis. The company needs call center workers who are “hard to make phone calls” and need additional coaching to join the company.
To accommodate social distances, Vivint restricts access to each building to a single entrance where employees measure body temperature. Signs encourage employees to wear masks at all times, and the company has limited meeting room capacity.
Vivint also has an on-site clinic that provides employees and their families with a 15-minute rapid virus test. Star Fowler, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, said:
The company wants to use the clinic to distribute the coronavirus vaccine to workers if Utah permits it.
Some companies, such as Seattle-based law firm Davis Light Tremaine, said workers who wanted to return to their offices had to be vaccinated. But other people like Duke Energy say they are trying to encourage them without the need for vaccination.
Duke Energy provides vaccinated employees with “health reward points” as an incentive for their employees to vaccinate. This is similar to the points employees receive each year for physical or non-tobacco use. He added that these points could reduce the monthly health insurance costs of employees.
The company said the pandemic is most likely to have a lasting impact on how it operates.
“We plan to have a hybrid work model,” said Nissan. “One day employees are in the office and the other day they work remotely. Gives employees flexibility and prevents everyone from being there at the same time.”
55% or more of Survey subjects According to consulting firm PwC, he hopes to work remotely at least three days a week after the pandemic subsides at the end of last year. However, my boss’s taste seems to be a little different. 68% of employers say they believe their employees need to be in the office at least three days a week to maintain their corporate culture.
Salesforce, a San Francisco-based software company, has recently received praise from some. Said Once the pandemic is no longer a public health threat, most employees will be able to come to the office 1-3 days a week. This is the approach the company calls “flex”. The company now doesn’t say whether it needs less office space.
But other companies eventually tell workers that all or almost every employee wants to regain most of the week, and if they don’t, their careers can be compromised.
Rapid7, a Boston-based cybersecurity company, expects workers to return to the office at least three days a week if they decide it’s safe.
Christina Luconi, Chief Human Resources Officer of the company, said:
Employees who choose not to return to the office may face the influence of professionals, she said.
“We’re not saying we’re intentionally stagnating your career,” Luconi added. “But if you’re a weird person when everyone else comes back together, it can be challenging for you.”
Still, this argument is somewhat theoretical. Rapid7 has not yet set a date to return to the office, and Luconi said he will wait until the vaccine becomes widely available. The company is committed to allowing only vaccinated employees to return to the office.
Companies implement return-to-work plans
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