By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
With remote work becoming the new normal for many, more companies are now willing to not only hire remote workers, but to hire them from anywhere. More than one third say they are willing to hire 100 percent remote workers anywhere in the U.S. or internationally, according to a recent survey by The Conference Board. The new findings also reveal that, after six months of adapting to the pandemic, many organizations continue to expect taking cost-reduction actions including layoffs and restructurings. On the upside, many companies have been able to fully or partially reverse some of the cost-cutting measures taken at the beginning of the pandemic, specifically around reducing salaries and wages.
The survey found that 36 percent of companies say they are willing to hire 100 percent remote workers anywhere in the US or internationally. Just 12 percent were receptive to that approach before COVID-19. Compared to before the pandemic, companies are now far more willing to hire remote workers (52 percent willing before COVID-19 vs. 88 percent now). However, half still prefer that employees live within commuting distance to the office location.
The future of remote work. More than one third of respondents expect that 40 percent or more of their employees will work remotely (at least three days per week) 12 months post-pandemic. That is up from five percent prior to the pandemic.
Back to the office. A plurality of companies is planning to return to the workplace by March, but significant uncertainty remains. About sixty percent of companies have either already returned or are currently planning to return to the workplace by March 2021. However, this date could change based on the severity of the second COVID-19 surge. A quarter of respondents are more uncertain, either awaiting a vaccine or noting other determining factors, such as trends in COVID-19 cases in the geographic area. Only 19 percent of companies had remained open or returned to the workplace by the end of September 2020.
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