The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed work cultures. Many companies let employees work remotely during the crisis, but, with COVID-19 vaccines generally available, some industries are requiring once-remote workers to return to the office, while others are slowing down their commercial real estate interests altogether. Read on to find out which industries are leading the return to office life.
1. Financial Services
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and other prominent financial services firms have brought back some or all of their office workers. This is due in part to industry-wide legal and security concerns.
Financial services firms must comply with industry oversight and reporting requirements. They must also verify that client data is properly secured 24/7. Otherwise, these companies can be subject to various penalties and fines that can lead to brand reputation damage and revenue losses. To limit the risk of compliance violations, many financial services firms are returning to in-office work.
Like financial services, the legal sector is highly regulated. Trusts, wills, and other legal documents often require “wet” signatures. Technology enabled lawyers and other legal professionals to work remotely during the pandemic. However, many law offices are requiring their employees to return to the office so they can handle legal requests in person.
Furthermore, experienced attorneys frequently mentor and train young and aspiring lawyers in person. Now that COVID-19 vaccinations are underway nationwide, some law offices are promoting in-person training and mentorship programs.
3. Real Estate
The pandemic dramatically changed the real estate market in 2020. One year later, the real estate sector is booming. This is driving real estate firms to bring workers back to the office as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, research indicates existing U.S. home sales rose 17.2% year over year between June 2020 and June 2021. Many home-buyers only feel comfortable making major decisions about homes in person. This could lead real estate firms to increasingly host in-person home showings to capitalize on a hot real estate market.
What Industries Aren’t Requiring Workers to Return to the Office?
While certain industries are requiring employees to return to the office, others are letting employees work remotely 100% of the time. Industries that are not requiring employees to resume in-office work include:
Twitter, Slack, and other globally recognized technology companies are embracing full-time remote work. Some of these businesses are allowing workers to remain at home all the time, while others are implementing a hybrid work model.
Tech firms are also equipping their workers with tools and equipment that they can use to stay connected to one another from any location, at any time. In doing so, they are empowering remote workers to maximize their productivity and efficiency.
Many retailers suffered big losses in 2020 due to the pandemic. Today, these retailers are making the shift to e-commerce. As such, they are letting more employees than ever before work remotely.
Target is one of the biggest retailers to capitalize on remote work thus far. It prioritized flexibility and collaboration and let many of its team members work remotely as soon as the pandemic began. The result: $15 billion in sales in 2020.
The days of designing cars in person are quickly drawing to a close. Thanks to advanced communication and collaboration technology, automakers can let workers build cars from scratch remotely.
Ford has raised the bar for remote work in the automotive industry. The company encourages thousands of workers to engage with one another via phone calls, video chats, and other remote communications. And in a recent internal survey, Ford found that 95% of its employees like having the option to work remotely or in the office.
What Does the Future Hold for Office Work?
Remote work technologies evolved rapidly in the past year to meet the sudden demand brought on by COVID-19. Companies in a wide range of industries may be able to leverage these technologies to drive unparalleled results — both in the office and outside of it.
COVID-19 has likely pushed more companies to consider the potential of a remote workforce, while other industries have found that its inefficiencies outweighed its benefits. Which direction is your industry headed in?