Shalom Lamm, the New York Real Estate Investor, believes as dozens of other older CEO’s believe, that employees should go back to work rather than work from home. The logic of course is that working in the office, and rubbing shoulders with others in the office fosters more of a productive, cohesive spirit and camaraderie. But, unfortunately for Lamm and many others, conservative CEOs, the cat may be well out of the bag so to speak for the work at the home trend.
First, it should be made clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Only around 37.5 percent of the U.S. has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and around half the U.S. has been partially vaccinated. Dr. Andrew Faucci, the chief medical officer to the president, suggests it may take a minimum of 70 to 85 percent of the U.S. to be fully vaccinated for things to return to normal. And even at 70 percent, it may take until January of 2022 for the U.S. to reach those figures.
Meanwhile, even in jobs such as food service which can definitely not be done at home, companies are finding it extremely difficult to fill positions. Conservative republicans blame the difficulty of finding workers on Federal supplemental unemployment benefits which they say are too generous and encourage workers to sit at home and do nothing.
As a result of this factor, to date some 21 states have opted to end their participation in the Federal government’s additional benefits of $600 early, scheduled to last until labor day. Yet, while the Federal supplemental benefits may be ending soon, that doesn’t mean that millions will just return to go back to work as normal.
People say that one of the effects of the COVID pandemic, particularly from women with children, is they are re-evaluating the pluses and minuses of working so hard and putting their children into daycare. And it isn’t just women either. Men are evaluating their overall quality of life for a paycheck.
As a result, most companies are now being forced to add up to $2 or more per hour to attract workers to come back. Alright, but what has this to do with office workers? Well, it turns out, working at home has changed the overall working environment.
For example, according to Global Workforce Dynamics, while currently only a small fraction of the population actually works online, that by the end of 2021 when the pandemic will supposedly end, that 25 to 30 percent of all workers who could work online will do so on multiple days of the week.
Indeed, from the employer’s point of view, Global Workforce Dynamics estimates a company can save around $11,000 per year for every employee who works even half time.
Meanwhile, USA Today reports that a survey of over a thousand professionals revealed that nearly 30 percent would quit rather than be forced to return to working back at the office.
Shalom Lamm knows that while there are many good reasons for and against work at home, the cat is likely out of the bag even if some research indicates workers are more productive in the office.