The state of the workplace

How we got here

It’s hard to overstate the transformation that work has undergone during the pandemic. While some progressive organizations had implemented remote work policies previously, the vast majority of professional employees were in a routine of traditional commuting and in-office working, and found their lives and schedules upturned in 2020.

The national shutdown in March 2020 was abrupt and unsettling, and we’ve seen significant effects on both sides of the labor market. Employers had to scramble to upgrade and distribute technology tools and resources, learn how to manage remotely, and ensure business continuity in an uncertain world, while employees had to adapt to ill-equipped “home offices” with partners, children, family members, and roommates as their new coworkers.

Many U.S. workers were sorely unprepared for this adjustment. Pew Research shows that, out of all employed adults with jobs that can be done from home, only 20% worked remotely before the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, after nearly two years of full-time or part-time remote work, over half of those adults want to continue to work from home in the long term.

While the pandemic is still far from over – some major West Coast players predict it will be another 2-3 years before the COVID-19 dust definitively settles – we’ve seen meaningful shifts in the way work is done. These emerging shifts and trends offer insights that we believe will have long-lasting impacts on the state of the workplace.

Workplace stat

Where we are today

Employees are leaving the workforce in droves. This reality, catchingly coined ‘The Great Resignation,’ is playing out across all sectors and markets with no apparent end in sight. There are a number of drivers behind the widespread attrition, from shifting personal priorities to toxic work cultures. With 4.5 million people having quit their jobs by the end of 2021, the job market is on fire.

Although the quit rate continues to rise, hiring remains on an upswing, shifting the balance of power in favor of the employee. Workers are taking advantage, leveraging organizations’ hiring woes to negotiate for higher compensation, increased flexibility or permanent remote work, and expanded benefits beyond the traditional 401K or PTO. With international political unrest and economic instability looming large, it is unclear when the power balance will be restored. But for now, workers are in the driver’s seat and they know it.

Please download to read the full whitepaper: The state of the workplace