Empty Office

Office buildings are being used less and less as employees are working remotely.

2020 has taught us a lot of things. How long should we be washing our hands, how many times a day we touch our face, the value of seeing our loved ones in person. At the start of the pandemic, as people were sent home from work, there was an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty among most employees. How long will this last? Did I take home everything I need? Will I be able to be productive without all of my office technology? 

Within weeks, as more and more companies realized that the remote workforce was going to stick around for a while, employees saw that they didn’t need their office printer. Nothing needed to be faxed and the technology used in meetings could just as easily be done remotely. Many of us have learned that we can be just as productive at home in our sweatpants as we can in an office.

What do employees want?
Some industries, such as tech, finance, and media embraced this new way of work life. According to Business Insider and a new study by IBM, 54% of adults want to work remotely most of the time after the pandemic. The study polled over 25,000 US adults found that 75% of those said they would like to continue to work from home in some capacity. The study also found that people that work from home full time reported being happy in their job 22% more than those who spent no time working from home.

Working remotely has also saved people money that would have been spent on childcare, transportation, and rent, since living in close proximity to an office is becoming less of an issue. Employers are reaping the benefit as well by saving large amounts on rent, utilities, computer equipment, phones, printers, and copiers.

Here’s what some major companies are doing about working remotely:

  • Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has extended the work-from-home policy to September 2021 and plans to accommodate remote work indefinitely.
  • Microsoft offered all employees the chance to work from home less than 50% of the time without approval.
  • Indeed is keeping all employees remote until July 2021, and then will make arrangements on a case-by-case basis
  • Uber and AirBnB have both extended their work-from-home policy until August 2021 and are offering a $500 stipend to employees for home office equipment.
  • In 2020, retailer REI announced that it is selling an 8 acre, unused corporate campus to “lean into remote working as an engrained, supported, and normalized model” for employees.
  • Zillow has announced it will offer employees the ability to work from home permanently.
  • Twitter has also told employees they could work from home indefinitely.
  • Hitachi has announced that 70% of their workforce will work from home permanently.
  • Research giant Nielsen is converting its New York City offices into meeting spaces for employees as they continue to work from home indefinitely.
  • Nationwide Insurance will be shifting from 20 offices to four as they continue to allow employees to work from home and office space has become unnecessary.

What’s left behind, other than office furniture and drawers full of pens? Computer equipment. Desktops, monitors, docking stations, cables, printers, phones, networking equipment, and servers. Read how Back Thru The Future helps businesses clear out their stock of computers and other electronic equipment left behind by remote employees HERE.