Work from Home Appeal Diminishing

In the beginning of the pandemic, the productivity of workers at home was strong. As the months waned on, so have workers’ patience. Fast forward six months and productivity has declined by 40% according to a Vocon survey. Additionally,  “25% of employees report work-from-home fatigue.” – Globe Street, “Remote Work’s Appeal Shows Signs of Fading” 

Another sign of corporate disillusionment with the WFH model comes, albeit subtly, from Google CFO Ruth Porat who told Bloomberg TV that employees having the chance to work together in-person is key to fostering innovation. – Globe Street, “Remote Work’s Appeal Shows Signs of Fading”

Employees are tired of working from the same space with constant computer time and a lack of in person human interaction. Additionally, a lack of structured breaks or beginning or end to each day.

Future Office Plans

Companies anticipate half of employees working from home at least two days a week post-pandemic. This combination could increase workers productivity overall. With the ability to focus alone with days at home and collaborate with co-workers when in the office. While some employees are already back in the office full-time, the office looks very different. Design changes such as desks spread further a part, sanitation stations, closed office doors and empty conference rooms are a temporary solution for many.

As firms attempt to project what their office space needs will be in the future, many are postponing this decision because of the unknowns. Uncertain how much longer this pandemic will drag on, who will want to come back to the office and how frequently. As a result, many companies are doing short term renewals.  Companies are uncertain how much “social distancing” space to account for and how these decisions will impact company culture long term.

There are some companies making moves. For those relocating during this time, it is typically for an economic benefit. If a company is located in a city, they may decide to move to the suburbs where they can afford more space and avoid the parking issues and density. Trends like this will continue to evolve as we understand the long-term impact of COVID-19.