Most remote MA workers haven’t met co-workers, survey finds

How many of your work colleagues have you met since the pandemic hit in 2020?

A new survey probably says not that much.

GreenBuildingElements.com commissioned a survey of 4,121 people who started new jobs in Massachusetts since 2020 and mostly work from home. They found that nearly two in three employees (65%) who work remotely have never met their colleagues.

And that trend could certainly continue in Massachusetts.

After:Impact of COVID-19: Working from home is more appealing than going back to ‘business as usual’, Harvard survey finds

What would bring people back to the office?

“Many companies are considering the idea to continue the work at home model since the pandemic, or fiddling with the concept of a hybrid model,” said the spokesman GreenBuildingElements.com Kris Lippi.

“While some companies are faced with the dilemma of missing a strong and cohesive team dynamic with people working remotely rather than in person, he may be trying to stimulate the global dynamics of the office to encourage members the team to return to the office. This could include items such as improved speed Internet, as well as measures to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the workplace, such as the implementation of the use of green technologies such as solar and LED lighting panels, use recycled paper; or switch to biodegradable pens instead of plastic pens.

The Future of Work in Massachusetts

In July 2021, Governor Charlie Baker unveiled the report “Future of Work”, which states that “the development of working methods – such as hybrid and remote working – can distance the” center of gravity “urban core” .

Baker’s report presented eight “key ideas,” including “demand for office real estate could fall as workers spend more time in residential areas due to hybrid working; hybrid working will likely drive demand for flexible childcare options, necessitating the evolution of childcare business models; public transit ridership is likely to drop, with the most pronounced drop likely being commuter rail; business travel may be structurally reduced from pre-pandemic levels; workforce training may be needed on an unprecedented scale and pace; the population of the Commonwealth is likely to grow, although more slowly than before the pandemic; current equity challenges will intensify; equitable housing options will be key to retaining and attracting people.

The image in other states

The GreenBuildingElements.com investigation revealed that the rate of not knowing the colleagues apart was the highest in Nebraska, where 89% had not met their colleagues in person. Fortunately for those in Kentucky and Montana, only 17% did not meet their co-workers properly. The survey also found that only 41% of employees said their company regularly hosts online social events that can help bond with colleagues.

The survey also revealed that when it comes to the work environment, a happy team can contribute positively to improving overall results. This could be why 35% of employees said they believe working in an eco-office creates a happier environment with better co-worker relationships.

And 66% of respondents said they were more likely to stay in social contact with colleagues outside of work hours after working remotely.

Regarding how remote colleagues communicate, the survey found that the majority (41%) use Zoom, while 35% use Microsoft Teams, 10% use Slack, 8% and 6% use WhatsApp using Skype.

After:Working remotely after COVID? Nearly 50% of American workers would take a pay cut, according to a survey.

The survey found that 17% of those currently working at home (and have the opportunity to work from the office) said they would be more likely to return if they were of the workspace environment more eco-friendly. This could include things like installing solar panels and energy saving light bulbs.

American workers want options

Another remote work survey was conducted at Harvard Business School in March 2021. It found that despite potentially longer hours, most Americans enjoy working remotely and want the option to continue doing so afterwards. the pandemic. Most of the 1,500 people surveyed say they are excelling and even progressing in their professions while working from home.

“I think it’s a combination of factors, like a Jekyll and Hyde, so to speak,” said Patrick Mullane, executive director of the school. “We like to work remotely in a way; it gives us more time to focus, to spend time with our families and no long round trips to and from work … We discovered that we could do lot without having to be face-face because Covid really forced the issue.

The survey also showed that while most employees miss co-workers and other aspects of office life, they don’t want to go back to “business as usual” because they want more flexibility in their work. work, Mullane said.

About 81% of respondents say they either don’t want to return to the office or prefer a hybrid schedule from now on. Mullane said 27% of employees hope to work remotely full-time, and an additional 61% would like to work two or three days a week from home.

That mindset is going to be tricky for employers, Mullane said. “It’s hard to know how it goes…while everyone is excited about remote work, there will be challenges to overcome.”

USA Today reporter Terry Collins contributed to this report.

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