Those workers permanently laid off due to the pandemic, however, are less likely to return to work than those temporarily furloughed. Just 1 in 6 employers expect to rehire most of their laid-off workers by March 2021.
Employers expect that the proportion of their full-time employees who are working from home will level off at around 19 percent, which is less than half of early July levels (44 percent) but nearly three times what it was in 2019, before the pandemic (7 percent), Willis Towers Watson reported.
While employers expect to have significantly more remote workers in the future compared with last year, many have yet to develop policies to encourage working from home. The survey showed:
Just 2 in 10 respondents have provided tools and resources to employees who may work remotely long term, although two-thirds plan to or are considering doing so.
Only 1 in 10 have offered employees subsidies to manage the costs of working remotely, although nearly three times as many are considering doing so.
Employers will "need to adapt to having a larger percentage of remote workers, and this will fundamentally change their culture," said Ravin Jesuthasan, managing director at Willis Towers Watson.
"Senior leaders need to work together with HR, legal and IT teams to ensure there are proper resources to accommodate the implications of working from home," said Jeff Christianson, chief legal officer at Nintex, a business software firm. For example, "the IT department needs adequate infrastructure and personnel to accommodate the number of employees working at home, and the legal team needs to flag any applicable local law implications when employees work from home."
The results were released Aug. 5 by Clutch, a ratings platform for business service providers. Constructive remote training should be a top priority for employers, according to Kelsey McKeon, a content developer and marketer at Clutch. "All companies must know how to plan and implement employee training and development programs in a remote environment," she said. "Employee skill development makes companies stronger and employees more satisfied with their work."
Reimbursing Remote Workers' Expenses
As the COVID-19 crisis progressed, "common expenses changed from entertainment and business travel to submitting work from home essentials," said Kunal Verma, chief technology officer at AppZen, a software platform for finance teams.
Determine, with information supplied by employees and their supervisors, the appropriate equipment needs (including hardware, software, modems, phone and data lines, and other office equipment) for each telecommuting arrangement.
Supply employees with appropriate office supplies as deemed necessary.
Reimburse employees for business-related expenses, such as phone calls and shipping costs, that are reasonably incurred in carrying out the employee's job.
Under the sample policy, employers are not be responsible for costs associated with the setup of an employee's home office, such as remodeling, furniture or lighting, nor for repairs or modifications to the home office space.
Background screening services firm JDP surveyed 2,000 U.S. workers about their feelings on returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The June poll of 2,038 employees who typically work in an office showed that:
86 percent of respondents favor a staggered four-day work week to limit the amount of people in the office.
69 percent said they trust their co-workers to respect their personal boundaries regarding COVID-19.
63 percent said they have issues being tested by their employer for the virus or for antibodies.
62 percent think people who return to the office earlier will be favored by management.
When asked about precautionary office measures, workers prefer:
As artificial intelligence technology continues to develop, the demand for workers with the ability to work alongside and manage AI systems will increase. This means that workers who are not able to adapt and learn these new skills will be left behind in the job market.
A vast majority of U.S. professionals say students entering the workforce should have experience using AI and be prepared to use it in the workplace, and they expect higher education to play a critical role in that preparation.
An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.
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