Office Bosses Worried Remote Work to Last for 2 Years A view from the 360 Chicago observation deck shows the city landscape, where most of the offices remain empty as work-from-home has become the new normal due to fears of the spread of COVID-19 on May 12, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty)
By Eric Mack | Sunday, 22 August 2021 03:28 PM
Employers are getting worried that it will be harder to get workers back into a traditional office setting the longer they work from home.
"If you have a little blip, people go back to the old way," Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told The Wall Street Journal. "Well, this ain't a blip.
"There is no going back."
Gelsinger has benefited from the current state of the workforce and he expects it to last a full two years, according to the report.
The rise of the highly contagious Delta variant has delayed many companies' plans to get back into the office full time, particularly in places like Manhattan and other large cities.
Workers are growing accustomed to working remote and surveys have shown an enthusiasm of telecommuting, according to the report.
PricewaterhouseCoopers surveyed workers in June 2020 and 73% considered remote work successful. This January, it was 83%.
Also, 41% of workers want a job that is fully remote, up from 29% in January, according to the poll.
Apple recently announced a delay on returns to U.S. offices until at least January 2022, following Amazon, Facebook, and Lyft in delayed returns. Also, Chevron and Wells Fargo have pushed back their planned September returns to the office.
One issue with remote work is a detachment from the brand and the potential for employees to be "bombarded" by job recruiters, Prudential Financial Vice Chair Rob Falzon told the Journal.
"When they're in the workplace, I think they have a broader sense of connection to the platform, to the culture of the organization — their fellow employees, their teams — that makes them less inclined to want to leave," he said.
Some fear the movement from in-office work will further complicate goals to hire a workforce.
"We can’t keep our office closed indefinitely," Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt PC law firm CEO Graciela Gomez Cowger told the Journal. "We just can't."
Conning, a Hartford, Conn.-based institutional asset-management firm, is opening the door for workers to come into the office even if they will not be required to return until January because they think breaking the routine will be important.
"I think that's going to be really important so people don’t feel like they're just locked in their basements," CEO Woody Bradford told the Journal. "There are people who have been working from home for, like all of us, a long time, and say that because it's habitual, we're used to it, and change is difficult.
"An individual may be very productive at home, but the new employee who is trying to learn the culture and trying to develop through apprenticeship may really suffer too much."