The Battle Over Remote Work Rages On

Our current trend of Remote Work and the recent Pandemic go hand in hand, with the latter being the direct cause of the former.  If there had been no Pandemic, then Remote Work would still be a fringe topic of conversation.

The Pandemic, of course, changed all of that.  With the global economy virtually shuttered, millions of employees found themselves forced to work from home, which left companies scrambling to make that happen.

It happened.  The infrastructure to allow mass work from home was built and companies scaled up their tools and made applications like Zoom and Skype more robust to allow for frictionless (or almost frictionless) virtual meetings. 

That became the new normal, and employees quickly grew to love the power and flexibility that the new arrangement gave them.

Employers’ view

Their employers were somewhat less enthusiastic on the whole, which is why, when the Pandemic began receding, employers made a concerted push to get their people back into the office.

That didn’t go over well, and in many places, the employees pushed back.  Sometimes they won the right to continue working from home, other times they lost and had to come back into the office, and sometimes, employers accepted a middle ground, which is why “Hybrid Work” is becoming increasingly common.

It’s easy to understand the attraction from the employee’s side of the equation.  The freedom and flexibility of working from home increases their power. 

In the United States, the power between employer and employee has historically skewed heavily in favor of the employer and while working from home doesn’t balance the scales, it does offer the employee vastly more power than they’re accustomed to, and frankly, they’re not willing to simply give that up.

On the other side of the equation, businesses have spent lavishly on brick and mortar facilities which sat empty and unused during the pandemic.  They’re anxious to put those facilities back on a paying basis, which means they’ve got a major interest in getting people to come back into the office.

The middle ground – the Hybrid Workplace

It’s a fight that employers can win if they’re willing to fight hard enough for it, but the costs might be more than they’re willing to bear.  After all, forcing the issue is a great way to damage (and perhaps irreparably damage) morale and trust among the ranks of their employees, which is why many companies are opting for the Hybrid Work middle ground and selling it as the best of both worlds.

In many ways, Hybrid Work genuinely is the best of both worlds, because as mentioned at the start, those same companies had to invest heavily in the infrastructure to make working from home possible in the first place.

Granted, that investment pales in comparison to the investments in facilities, but if an employer makes a purely binary choice in one direction or the other, one of those investments is a total loss and simply has to be written off, which tells us that Hybrid Work is here to stay.

If you have remote or hybrid workers in your employ, it’s important not to forget them or leave them out of the equation when recognizing your employees for their contributions.  Gift sets are a great choice where remote workers are concerned, and we’ve got a fantastic selection!