With many businesses reverting to pre-pandemic operations, albeit with additional Covid-19 precautions, some workers are returning to their offices. However, this does not hold true for everyone, with employees still working from home despite being cleared to return to their traditional work environment.
While there has been resistance from workers against the idea of a return to the office, they are not the only ones putting the brakes on this process. Some employers are instructing their employees to continue working from home.
Many areas still face limitations on how many people may occupy a building. When employers consider bringing all employees back and then include guests logged into their visitor management system from Greetly, the numbers exceed what is permitted. It makes more sense for some workers to continue doing their jobs remotely to prevent overcrowding.
Even when no restrictions about occupancy are in place, employers know that social distancing is still an effective Covid prevention strategy. Having fewer people in the working environment allows for more space, making proper social distancing a reality.
Keeping employees safe while they are at work is proving costly. Employers are spending thousands of dollars on Covid testing to ensure that everyone is Covid negative. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizer bills also skyrocket when a return to pre-pandemic operations is mandated.
It costs an employer less to keep their workers at home to prevent potential office infections and eliminate a need for frequent testing. Therefore, they limit how many employees return to those who cannot do their jobs remotely. Keeping the rest away from their working environment makes sense on a financial level and is a sound way to prevent infections.
Employers were reluctant to encourage remote work before Covid, thinking that employees worked more productively in an office environment supervised by their managers. The pandemic has proved the converse to be true in many instances. Several employers noticed that workers performed more effectively when allowed to work from home. They got their work done in less time and could take on additional responsibilities.
Any employer’s goal is to get maximum productivity from a worker to justify their salary. Therefore, if someone works efficiently from home, employers opt to leave them there, allowing for optimal performance.
Many employees became accustomed to the flexibility that working from home offered them, including being caregivers and fitting other activities into their schedules. They could not do this when working in an office setting. When employers started murmuring about a return to the office, employees pushed back, saying that they did not want to return and threatened to resign if the employer forced them.
Businesses have faced an unprecedented mass resignation wave, and it is the first time in living memory that workers, not employers, are in the driving seat. Companies are bending to their employees’ will and seeking ways to keep them happy, including letting them work from home.
Amid emerging vaccine hesitancy, employers cannot mandate that returning employees must receive their shots. Having unvaccinated individuals at work poses a greater risk of a Covid outbreak. Companies will have a long road to justify forcing people to be vaccinated to qualify for a return to work. They want to create a safe working environment without losing valuable workers. The best way to resolve this Catch-22 situation is to allow those who can work from home to continue doing so.
People are also questioning the need for a return to office conditions since technology makes it possible to undertake remote work. Employers have realized this and are happy to accommodate them.
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