The current situation, where millions of employees are working from home, looks unlikely to change any time soon. So what steps can employers take to plan for this new long-term reality?
What a difference a year makes. This time 12 months ago, employers and employees alike had no idea of the upheaval that was to come.
We are now six months into a dramatically changed working environment that continues to evolve. Much work is going into finding a COVID-19 vaccine, but until one is developed and made widely available, we need to accept that the current situation is unlikely to change.
For that reason, it’s interesting to make some educated guesses as to where employers will find themselves in September 2021 and how they should prepare for what lies ahead.
The most obvious consequence of COVID-19 is the dramatic change in how we work. While certain sectors – construction, retail and hospitality, for example – are locked to a particular location, the same is not true for many others.
There is every chance that millions of employees will still be working from home by this time next year, even if a safe vaccine is discovered in the meantime.
The longer home working continues, the more difficult it will be to change. Any employer with an eye on the future should plan accordingly.
Employees are already seeing the benefits in terms of reduced or cancelled commutes, convenience and more time to spend with family.
Employers, in turn, are hopefully seeing a more motivated workforce and greater productivity.
International tech companies based in Ireland have already announced that their employees can work from home for the foreseeable future, and they are by no means outliers.
So what should employers be thinking about, and planning for, now?
to find out