One of the most visible changes wrought by COVID-19 is the work-from-home phenomenon. Nearly 80% of organizations surveyed said they have implemented or expanded universal work-from-home policies as a result of the pandemic, while 67% expect these policies to remain in place either permanently or for the long-term, according to a new study from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The 451 Research Digital Pulse COVID-19 Flash Survey sheds light on the future of work and highlights the disruption occurring in the U.S. corporate landscape. Responses from approximately 575 IT decision-makers across a range of industries were collected from May 29 to June 11. The survey was conducted by 451 Research, the emerging technology research unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence.
“As organizations are heading back to the office in the wake of COVID-19, it is important to quantify what changes materialized during these past few months as a potential indication for the future of work,” Liam Eagle, Head of Voice of the Enterprise Research at 451 Research, said in a written statement. “Leveraging timely data from our flash survey capabilities can help us better understand these changes and overall market sentiment, while enabling organizations to make informed business decisions during times of uncertainty.”
Survey highlights include:
In addition to 80% of organizations employing expanded or universal work-from-home policies, 85% implemented travel limitations, and the same percentage limited or banned face-to-face meetings.
71% of respondents said they are converting hosted events into virtual ones, and 37% have expanded employee leave rules, among other changes.
About 19% of organizations intend to have employees return to offices as soon as local regulations allow, 25% will wait a month or more, and another 24% have not yet determined any timeline.
47% of respondents said they are likely to reduce their physical office footprint, and more than 20% expect to it be reduced by more than 25%.
About 20% of respondents say their organization plans to use remote working, wearing protective gear, and social distancing through 2021 and beyond. 14% responded that conditions have been altered permanently, while 18% have yet to establish a plan.
In the radio industry, plans are still being drawn up, as Inside Radio earlier reported, with many doing remote work with occasional travel to office spaces.
“We are currently evaluating the possibility of flexible and/or remote work options for the future,” said Darrell Brown, president of Bonneville International. “Some departments like sales and digital will likely continue to work from home through at least the end of the year.”
Bonneville, which owns 22 stations in Seattle, San Francisco, Denver and other western markets, is following CDC guidelines.
In situations where employees will have to come into the office, worker safety will be the top priority when formulating reopening plans.
“As we start the process of opening our offices in the states and counties which are beginning to lift restrictions, we have implemented numerous and prudent safety precautions,” Townsquare Media COO for Local Media Erik Hellum said in May.