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One-Third of Companies Will Have Half of Workforce Remote Post-Pandemic, Study Finds

U.S. News & World Report logo U.S. News & World Report 8/24/2020 Alexa Lardieri
A general view of the empty Viber office on August 23, 2020 in Minsk, Belarus. © (Misha Friedman/Getty Images) A general view of the empty Viber office on August 23, 2020 in Minsk, Belarus.

One-third of companies anticipate having half or more of their employees work remotely after the coronavirus pandemic.

A study published by human resources consulting firm Mercer found that the number of companies expecting to have half or more of their employees working remotely post the COVID-19 pandemic increased to 1 in 3, compared with 1 in 30 companies that had that many employees working remotely pre-pandemic.

As COVID-19 spread across the globe and companies were forced to rethink how to do business, 72% of companies said they offer flexibility around hours and work scheduling. Nearly half, 49%, said flexible policies have been implemented on how work is done and what technology is used and 24% said there is flexibility about what activities and tasks are being done.

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The study also found that 16% of companies said who does the work, such as contract and/or gig workers, has changed, while 17% of companies say things have stayed the same.

A majority of businesses, 60%, are providing flexibility for caregivers during the pandemic, allowing parents to change their schedules, with 22% allowing parents to temporarily shift their hours to part time. Additionally, 36% of companies are allowing parents to perform other work that can be done outside of normal business hours.

Twelve percent of companies have both allowed parents to take extended leaves of absence with reduced pay and created weekend and evening shifts to provide more flexibility. Nine percent of companies, according to Mercer's survey, have begun to provide new or enhanced childcare benefits.

Despite shifting hours and duties, nearly all companies, 90%, said that productivity has remained the same or actually improved since employees began working remotely.

Copyright 2020 U.S. News & World Report


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