As COVID-related office closures extend beyond their initial expected lives, both employers and employees have learned to embrace the concept of Work from Anywhere (WFA): a new reality where as long as an employee has internet and cell service, work can be done. This newfound freedom relaxes the need for employees to make time-consuming and expensive commutes to the office, and reduces the need for employers to provide designated office space for each employee as the availability of low-cost, easy-to-use video conferencing services provides a viable alternative to in-person meetings.
The effects of this rapid shift to remote work continue to develop. Employees are now empowered to relocate to less expensive or more desirable locales, with the need to physically commute to the office no longer as necessary. They are also investing more in creating a conducive work environment in their home, both through expansion of designated working spaces and investment in home office equipment. Employers are considering reducing office footprints, investing more in resources to allow for a safe and efficient remote working environment, and learning that perhaps providing a flexible work environment and expecting employee productivity are not mutually exclusive concepts. While the need for collaboration and creativity continue to exist, a new equilibrium between autonomy and accountability seems to be forming between employers and their employees.
Will this be the new way to work? Perhaps only time will tell as the future unfolds for all of us.
Each January, our Davidson Investment Advisors team takes a look at some of the most intriguing trends unfolding in the new year. More 2021 trends can be found here.
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