The workplace, corporate buildings, and day-to-day office life have changed dramatically for a large portion of the workforce. Since the onset of the pandemic, employees were forced to work from their homes, as much as possible. Even some professions that seemed unlikely to be accomplished in a remote capacity also made the switch in March 2020. Two years later, many workers don’t want to return full-time to their offices. Instead, it’s been proven that employees can be highly productive outside of the office, and many are looking to maintain some of the flexibility that remote work allows. Employers have also realized that the future of work might look a bit different from before the pandemic. This is why we have described the reimagined workplace as one of the 2022 marketing trends in our recent Issuu Year in Review.
The future of work is being defined and redefined in so many different ways. It’s exciting and confusing and still very much a work in progress. Let’s look at a few different work modes or styles that are becoming more popular and commonplace.
Onsite work - this is the original style of work that has been the most commonplace until recently. In this style, the employees must always be onsite to perform their jobs. Of course, many job positions require you to be on location to service customers, work on a project hands-on or use specialized tools that wouldn’t be available in a remote work setup. The pandemic caused many companies to re-evaluate which roles needed to be onsite only, while proving that some positions that were previously preferred to be onsite could also be accomplished remotely.
Remote work - this style of work is full-time remote work from your own chosen location. You do not have an office building that you are required to be at, nor is there an office for you to utilize if you desired. In some cases, the company no longer has a physical headquarters and instead, their workforce is fully remote. Most remote workers will work from their own homes, while some may choose to work from a co-working space.
Hybrid work - this work mode combines both remote work and in-office work. The company or organization still has physical offices that employees can utilize and are required to be in the office for a certain number of days in the week, for specific meetings, or other activities that the organization deems necessary to be completed in-person.
Flex work - this is another working mode that is similar to the hybrid work style where you have the flexibility to be both remote and in-person at the office. The term “flex” is built into the work style to promote the company’s flexible approach to the position’s work location. It should give the employee a lot more freedom. Again, there might be a specific set of days that you are required to be in the office, or in some cases the employee may determine that they work best with some in-person office time balanced by a few days of working remotely. The flexibility of this work style is intended to be a benefit to both the employee and the organization.
Prior to the global pandemic, remote work was gaining popularity already, but suddenly working from home was the norm for the majority of office workers around the world. As countries around the world are re-opening, the future of work is being shaped. Here are the current statistics and data we have about remote work and emerging work trends.
77% of respondents agree that after COVID-19, being able to WFH [Work From Home] would make them happier. (Owl Labs)
10,000 employees surveyed by the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago said they thought they were just as productive working from home compared to working in the office.
40.7 million American professionals, nearly 28% of respondents, will be fully remote in the next five years, up from 22.9% in our last survey conducted in November 2020. (Upwork)
The Pulse of the American Worker Survey found that 87% of people want to work from home at least 1 day of the week. 68% of American workers say the ability to work remotely and on-site is the perfect work model.
55% of respondents from a study by Stanford want to spend some time in the office and some time at home. 25% of workers in the study want to work a home full time and 20% of workers only want to work in the office.
These statistics show us that employees are ready to change the more traditional office model and need more flexibility in their working environment. Similar sentiments might have been expressed prior to the pandemic, but now employees and businesses can show that remote work over the past two years has still fostered productivity while also providing some much-needed flexibility.
It might seem like the main takeaway after two years of forced remote work is that employees and even employers are looking for more flexibility. There are also additional benefits to switching to a remote workforce or offering hybrid or flex work modes in addition to onsite positions. The benefits include:
When employees can work from home or work remotely they are often saving themselves a long commute from their home into the office. For many employees this means they do not have to sit in a car, train, or bus for 20 minutes or more (sometimes much more!). In fact, a study from 2020, found that commuting time was reduced by 62.4 million hours per day with aggregate time savings of over 9 billion hours starting from the middle of March 2020 to the middle of September 2020. These critical commuting hours can be used by employees instead to spend time with their families, exercise, enjoy a hobby, or even finish up a work project.
Less commuting time is better for the environment. When fewer employees are driving in their own cars, gasoline consumption drops which reduces greenhouse emissions.
Cost savings are also a potential benefit of the remote work or flex work modes. For the employees, it can reduce commuting costs, childcare expenses and reduce meal expenses too. For the employer, if your onsite workforce is reduced, you may not need to maintain such large corporate office spaces, and onsite employee benefits are also reduced such as cafeteria expenses, office supplies, and utilities.
The switch to a remote workforce or hybrid working environment isn’t going to be seamless of course. The office setup will need to be adjusted and you might need fewer desks, printers, and coffee machines, but you will need cloud-based tools that enable collaboration, clear communication, and enhance productivity.
There are many tools you may already be familiar with such as Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Asana, Jira, and more. The key to success in the future of work is that you decide which tools are the best for your workplace, and set up every employee for success when using those tools. If different teams are using different, but similar tools it can cause confusion and a disconnect. Ensure your processes and tools are streamlined as much as possible to support your employees and their projects rather than allow the tools to be a hindrance to working.
As a powerful and collaborative tool, Issuu.com is a cloud-based digital publishing platform that remote, hybrid and in-person teams should add to their marketing technology stack. Issuu transforms your content into flipbooks, social stories, mobile-optimized articles, GIFs, email graphics, and more. Create beautiful content marketing in minutes and collaborate easily with your team — no matter their location.
The future of work is evolving around the world, often with input from employees and influences based on the company’s locations along with government policies too. Issuu publishers are contributing to the discussions about what the future of work should look like and how we build it.
Incorporating editorial insights from Mediaplanet President Jacqueline de Rojas, the OECD, World Economic Forum, and others, the ‘Future of Work’ analyzes how organizations have not just survived, but thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic, discussing how they’ve adapted and innovated to stay successful, and the lasting changes there will be into the future.
This recent issue focuses on what hybrid work will look like in 2022 and beyond, and other workplace and work trends to expect.
Pickard Chilton, a global architecture studio from New Haven, Connecticut presents the award-winning design for the Office Building of the Future; it integrates new thinking about the workplace, sustainability, and accommodates a limitless range of building types and scales. The visionary design will present a workplace that is healthful and conducive to employees’ productivity and well-being, with qualities such as abundant natural light, access to fresh air, customizable work areas, and greater collaborative spaces. The Office Building of the Future will be highly sustainable and responsive to its climate and site, employing modular construction systems, net-zero energy, net-zero water, and net-zero embodied carbon design strategies.
After a particularly challenging few years, employers and employees understand that we can’t just go back to doing things the same way as before the pandemic. This is a chance to make changes to how we work and our office environments that will benefit both the employees and the employers in the long term.
The changes that are being explored and discussed encompass company culture, office structures, technology needs, and so much more. The companies that are open to embracing change and investing in their employees and culture to define the future of work are giving themselves are head start to finding success in the reimagined workplace too.
Issuu is an easy-to-use digital publishing and content marketing platform that will enhance your marketing technology stack while also being a powerful tool for the future of work. Join Issuu to learn more.