The office as you know it is gone

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People like flexible work schedules. Plus, the tangible benefits of contemporary offices—socialization, physical proximity to colleagues—don’t require workers to go to the office every day from 9 to 5. The future of the office has become an open question after the coronavirus lockdown forced tens of millions of Americans to work from home. Will office workers flock back to their cubicles and water coolers when the pandemic ends? Or will employees want to hold on to their newfound freedom and flexibility, while employers eye the lower costs of the lack of a physical footprint? At least a few companies have already answered this question: Twitter, for example, says most of its employees can continue working from home forever, making the office merely a place to meet clients. We asked three scholars to weigh in on the future of the office. Read Full Story

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Companies are rushing to reopen their offices. Here’s what they’re getting wrong

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Flexible work is here to stay. Where we get our work done is less important than how we get our work done. The coronavirus pandemic forced many of us to work from home, and the big surprise is: Work got done. Employees are still productive. They like the freedom of remote work. Yet some organizations are scrambling to reopen their offices as quickly as possible, and to do so, they are trotting out design solutions that supposedly protect workers, from algorithms for re-densifying offices to clinical “scrub” rooms in reception areas to the sorts of cubicles made infamous by Dilbert and “The Office.” One problem: These strategies are reactionary and irrelevant long-term. To cultivate the office of the future, companies need to acknowledge three truths about the modern workplace that existed even before COVID-19: Read Full Story

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How the pandemic paved the way for more flexible benefits in 2021

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Every worker is juggling different responsibilities in the wake of the pandemic, creating a whole different perspective on benefits offerings. March 2020 will forever be a turning point for U.S. workers. That’s when many states issued stay-at-home orders that shuttered stores and restaurants and sent office denizens scrambling to make space in their home for remote work. For about half of the 3,500 employees of Paylocity, the transition was somewhat easier, as they’d already been working from home pre-pandemic. Read Full Story

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How to make the hybrid workplace fair for all

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Will in-office workers have an inherent advantage over their remote colleagues? This HR exec says companies must start preparing now for the new dynamic. Office reopenings are gathering pace, and leaders are evaluating if they need a physical workspace. The increasingly popular hybrid work model, expected to be the norm post-pandemic, is a promising solution. The combination of in-person and remote working delivers the benefits of both options and grants employees the flexibility they have become accustomed to during the pandemic. Read Full Story

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Here are the funniest memes about working from home during the coronavirus outbreak

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Of course Twitter has ideas about the call for more and more people to punch in from their home office. Various countries around the world are reacting to the coronavirus outbreak by canceling festivals and conventions, closing schools, and encouraging social distancing as much as possible. Increasingly, that distancing is extending to employees working from home to minimize exposure to the virus. Google advised its North American employees to clock in from their living room/home office/wherever if they can, at least until April 10. Offices will remain open to workers if they have to be physically present for their jobs, but this is a growing trend born out of safety precautions. Read Full Story

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The flip side of ‘flexibility’: Working moms make the powerful case for going back to the office

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Remote work was long considered the promised land for working moms. But a year into the pandemic, many are eager to get back to their workplaces. The future for offices is dire, if you scan headlines from the last year. The pandemic might be the “ end of the office as we know it .” We may “ never go back ” to the office, post-COVID-19. Do workers ever need to return ? Read Full Story

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Headed back to the office? These are your rights as an employee

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An employment lawyer discusses legal rights across both sides of the table, as social distancing restrictions lift and the workforce returns to their work spaces. The remote work “new normal” has brought up countless questions for employers and employees. At the outset, many office workers were thrilled at their newfound lack of commute, the freedom to work from home, and the demise of business casual. Five months in, challenges have arisen. People are feeling lonely and isolated. We need people, but in a pandemic, where there are people, there is fear. Read Full Story

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In the era of remote work, we still need offices

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The CEO of a coworking office company describes what the future of collaboration will look like, and how the traditional work space can fit in. If there’s one thing we know to be true in the business world, it’s that where Google leads, others will follow. Recently the company announced its plan to let employees work from home through the summer of 2021. If arguably the number-one advocate of in-office culture is leaving desks empty for more than a year, it begs the question: What purpose does the office serve going forward and how will companies adjust their real estate strategy accordingly? Read Full Story

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5 ways to ask your boss for more flexibility at work

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Flexibility can take many forms, but what is unambigous is the engagement and fulfillment employees feel from expanded options. Despite the many challenges of the pandemic, there are still plenty reasons to be optimistic about work after the pandemic. Before the dramatic changes of the coronavirus, many businesses insisted working at an office workstation every day was the only way to ensure accountability and performance. But lockdowns and the necessity for work-from-home strategies have forced companies to rethink and reconsider how work happens and how much flexibility they can afford employees. Read Full Story

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4 ways to manage remote workers when you don’t know how long they’ll be working from home

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Christine Trodella of Workplace from Facebook notes that while we can’t predict what will happen with the world in a few months, weeks, or days, remote workers aren’t going anywhere, and companies need to adapt to remain competitive. The remote worker is almost as old as the internet itself, so we’ve had more than a couple of decades to learn how to manage employees who aren’t physically present. But as we see this trend increase, it’s clear that effectively managing an employee whose “office” is in their home with an internet connection and a computer doesn’t mean that there’s a truly symbiotic relationship between a manager and their remote, work-from-home reports. It’s a lot more complicated than that. In fact, the learning curve has turned out to be steeper than any of us anticipated, and this specific employee group continues to be severely underrepresented despite their very unique needs. Read …

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These are the skills you need to be successful in a hybrid environment

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Working for a company where some employees are remote and others are in the office requires new habits and systems. As organizations start to design post-pandemic workplaces, many are offering flexible remote working arrangements. This is creating to a hybrid environment, with some employees in the office and others working from home. A distributed workforce is bound to impact day-to-day operations, and leaders and their teams may need new habits and systems. Read Full Story

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