Many workers – and their employers – have discovered this past year that people can be just as productive working at home.
This is great news for the environment because reductions in commuting will reduce carbon emissions, as you pointed out in your editorial, ”Remote Work Makes for a Healthier Planet, Happier Employees” (April 7).
It also presents a challenge and an opportunity for employers.
It turns out that many people prefer working at home. Remote work is especially valued by people who are caregivers at home, a role disproportionally performed by women in our society.
Twenty-nine percent of working professionals say they would quit their jobs if they couldn’t continue working remotely, according to an online survey of 1,022 professionals by LiveCareer.
The office is not going away. Some employees’ home environments are ill-suited for office work, and some need to be in the office to perform at their best.
Many companies are moving toward a hybrid workplace where employees rotate in and out of the office. Office life is going to be a lot different than it used to be. At the Greater Portland Council of Governments, we’re trying to figure this out, too, along with many other employers in our region.
One thing is clear: to be competitive in the post-pandemic employment market, employers must meet employees where they are as much as possible, and that means adopting a more flexible interpretation of what it means to be “in the office.”
Chief Operating Officer
Greater Portland Council of Governments