The Future of the Office

By Bill Olson, VP Marketing & Communications, United Benefit Advisors

Earlier this spring, the quarterly Randstad Workmonitor survey revealed that while 82% of United States workers say the option to work remotely does help them maintain a healthy work-life balance, 62% of these same workers prefer to work in the office anyway. Perhaps most surprisingly, this preference is higher among millennial and Gen Z workers, despite the common perception that these groups prefer digital interactions over real-time ones.

What might be the reasoning behind these preferences? Some employees say their employers don’t support the technology needed to work remotely effectively. Other employees say they prefer face-to-face interaction for directness and efficiency, especially in offices that utilize open work plans and rotating seats. These options are widely understood to support dynamic, productive office cultures.

On the flip side, many employees can and do choose to work remotely, and feel that it increases their productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction. As a result, many employers are growing to embrace these preferences, and find that doing so has dramatically widened their talent pool. Remote work options allow employers not only to partner with the growing professional freelance workforce around the world, but to provide new opportunities for engagement and retention with local employees who benefit from open office flexibility.

While the option to work remotely doesn’t always increase employee productivity and satisfaction, when it does the payoff is substantial. One way to fine-tune remote connection is through increasingly effective learning and development programs, or L&D. In a recent article, HR Technologist investigated new and advanced solution-driven programs for increased connection and productivity. Techniques include microlearning, interactive training formats, and innovative delivery.

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