Working From Home: A Pandemic Experiment with Staying Power Through Communication, Training, and Creativity
By Kristin Tugman, Ph.D.
VP of Health and Productivity Analytics and Consulting Practice
Prudential Group Insurance
Rather than spending an average of 55 minutes commuting daily, American workers during the COVID-19 pandemic instead used that time to get a jump start on work, go for a walk, or throw in a load of laundry. Reluctant to give up that flexibility and a better quality of life, highly skilled workers are signaling that the concept of five days in the office is dead. And previously reluctant employers are embracing the upside of more liberal work-from-home policies.
Although offices are opening up and some workers have returned, the pandemic’s lasting legacy may be a reversal of perceptions about the viability of remote work arrangements — from home or anywhere. In an early April 2021 Conference Board survey of 231 human resource leaders, 38% of the organizations surveyed said 40% or more of their employees were primarily working from home a year post-pandemic.1 That’s in stark contrast with the 5% of businesses that allowed such levels of telework before the pandemic.
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