We’re returning to work, however not the method we utilized to

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Angela Lang/CNET
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When you return to work will you acknowledge it? The future will raise gig work, remote work and virtual groups from specific niche or second-class status to being the brand-new mainstream, according to Deloitte.

“We’re not going to back to what once was,” states Steve Hatfield, Global Future of Work Leader at Deloitte. “Most organizations have recognized that virtual and distributed work can happen,” he states of the “demonstration factor” that has actually been thrust upon them due to the fact that of shelter-in-place orders. “We will not go back to having everyone in the office in the same way.”

A current Gartner study discovered that 74% of primary monetary officers anticipate a few of their labor force to stay remote and 17% of them anticipate 20% of their labor force to do so.

Steven Hatfield, Global Future of Work Leader, Deloitte
Steven Hatfield, global future of work leader at Deloitte, thinks a lot more will change about the nature of work than a bunch of Zoom calls and sneeze shields in the office.



Change in the workplace will vary greatly by job type, of course, but all work categories will need to focus on the psychological perception of whether it’s safe to return to the job. “The psychological aspect of safety is centered around trust in your employer, but also relates to things like the subway or public transport” that employers don’t control, Hatfield says. Combine that with a disease that isn’t fully understood yet, and it’s easy to imagine a lot of workers opting to stay remote even if the company reopens its offices.

That keeps those workers out of a broader economy of restaurants, coffee purchases, transit expenditures and downtown shopping that is all supported by millions going to physical workplaces.

Going back to the workplace is also about preserving company culture, one of the main reasons we have offices in the first place. “It’s a real obstacle,” Hatfield says. “The organizations that are thinking about their culture more deliberately are the ones that will succeed.” Hatfield advocates a clean-sheet review, from how new-hire onboarding is done to how the workday might be divided into sections with specific modes of work: Mornings might be collaborative while afternoons are set aside for individual work, with status meetings as bookends to it all.

And gig work, far beyond Uber driving and GrubHub deliveries, may proliferate, predicts Hatfield. Many companies may broaden their gig use of highly skilled workers so they transition to having the right skills on staff at the right time, rather than all skills all the time. That may challenge notions of work stability and employee loyalty.

Steve Hatfield had a lot more to say about how the world’s largest business services firm sees us going back to work. Hear all the insights he shared with Brian Cooley in the full video replay above.

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