The pandemic changed employees’ lives around the globe and has allowed us to settle into a rhythm that includes remote work. But, as vaccine rollouts accelerate in countries that can afford them, a new hybrid working model is beginning to take shape. In the United States, Wall Street is gearing up for an Autumn where employees will be expected to return to the office for at least part of their day. But, as companies try to decide the best way forward, it’s clear that many employees don’t want to return to the pre-pandemic work environment.
The rollout of the vaccine has allowed companies to manage their employee’s work situations in various ways. Front line workers were back to work nearly immediately and have had to live with the fear of contracting the virus and the many tests and procedures needed to make the process work. Many companies are still entirely remote, while others have started inviting employees back to work. The office worker who can perform their tasks at home is the player in the industry that will drive changes.
Some companies have permitted employees to continue working remotely until at least the end of 2021. Others have recalled staff on different schedules. Other companies are leaving it entirely up to individual workers to decide where to base themselves. The future of work is changing rapidly and can have an impact on the global economy.
Businesses worldwide are also starting to think about alternative ways to structure work communication and physical presence. For example, the concept of pressing-the-flesh and taking clients out to dinner could be changing. In addition, while a younger generation is likely champing at the bit to get out and start to travel again, an older generation of employees might be content to provide their services from their home office. This scenario presents multiple issues. First, employees working from home will eventually want their employers to pay for their communication. Second, these employees might wish to temporarily meet clients who come into their city for a visit. This scenario creates the need for a hybrid working model that can change the global economy’s flow and reduce the amount of currency that needs to change hand to make this process work. This change could impact forex trading prices for a variety of currency pairs.
How Many Employees Will Want to Work From Home?
There is research that points to what post-pandemic working patterns may look like in the future. In one paper, reported by The Economist, three economists survey thousands of Americans and conclude that post-pandemic; the average employee would like to work from home nearly half the time. Of course, employers are less keen, but their expectation that 20% of their time working from home will substantially change from the previous norm.
A change in the number of employees coming into a working environment will also change the face of commercial real estate. The office used to be a place where employees had to come to be counted as present on a day of work. Now many employees can work anywhere they have access to the internet. A hybrid working environment will help an employer reduce the amount of space needed for an office environment.
Not all companies are sympathetic to the new hybrid norm. For example, financial firms like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs announced they want their employees to return to the office as more people get vaccinated against Covid-19. At the same time, Morgan Stanley announced that they would bar workers without Covid vaccinations from most New York offices beginning July 12. This creates a double-edged sword. If you are unwilling to get a vaccination for any reason, you will be unable to go into an office in some circumstances. You will then put yourself at a disadvantage if your employer requires that everyone come to the office and eliminate the communication network that allowed employees to work remotely.
The Bottom Line
The change to a hybrid working model is currently in the works. Some people continue to work remotely while others are beginning to return to their office working environment. What is clear is that business travel will likely change. The lack of movement from country to country could impact money flow and affect forex trading. In addition, offices with a hybrid working model will no longer need to house as many employees as companies decide how to book time in an office. The commuting process will also change as the number of individuals making their way into major metropolitan areas will also be impacted by a hybrid model. The upshot that the hybrid model will alter the way we work, even after the virus is long gone.