As the pandemic continues on, many people are beginning to wonder what the workplace will look like post-COVID, or if there will even be a physical workplace at all for some industries.
For those wondering what the future of work holds, many answers can be found in Nick Bloom’s 2022 study, Key Decisions About the Future of Work from Home. Nicholas Bloom is an economics professor at Stanford University, expert on all things work from home (WFH), and co-founder of wfhresearch.com. In his research findings, Bloom was able to determine that post-COVID work will be split into these three groups: fully on-site, hybrid, and fully work from home.
Below are some of Bloom’s key findings, as well as information on who is most likely to fall into each category.
Who Falls Into Each Working Group?
Splitting workers into these three categories—fully on-site, hybrid, and fully work-from-home—will likely be done by dividing different types of workers into each section.
For example, the fully on-site group will predominantly consist of “front-line employees, non-graduates,” and “lower-paid” employees. The hybrid group will likely consist of “professionals and managers, mostly graduates,” and “higher-paid” individuals. People who are working from their home full-time will be those whose jobs can easily be done in a remote setting, including “specialized roles” like “IT support, payroll, etc.” (Bloom, 2022).
Which Working Condition Will Be Most Effective?
Though all workers have their preferences, Bloom determined that hybrid work would likely be the most effective post-COVID, as hybrid work combines all of the benefits that you get from working on-site and from home. Working on-site is “good for creativity,” and “good for culture,” while working remotely is “quiet” and “saves on commute,” Bloom outlined. The balance that hybrid work provides can lead to a successful workplace.
Beyond the benefits workers get from having two separate environments to work in, Bloom also found that “hybrid WFH increases average productivity ~5%,” and workers “value hybrid WFH about the same as an 8% pay increase on average.”
Is There a Correlation Between Hybrid Work and Diversity?
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of hybrid work is that it encourages more diversity in the workplace. The desire for a flexible hybrid schedule is strongest in groups that are typically underrepresented in the workplace, particularly Hispanic/Latinx workers (86%). His research has also found that women are generally positive about the idea of hybrid work post-COVID (Bloom, 2022).
Though no one can be certain of what the workplace will look like post-COVID, it is helpful to plan ahead for any outcome. For those struggling to adapt to the new work environment, Docket can be a useful tool for navigating the world of teleconferencing and digital communication. To read more about Nick Bloom’s research, take a look at his study presentation linked below.
Bloom, Nick. Key Decisions about the Future of Working from Home. Mar. 2022, https://nbloom.people.stanford.edu/sites/g/files/sbiybj4746/f/april2022v1.pdf.