Show an ad over header. AMP

What's next at work after the coronavirus pandemic

We've recapped how the pandemic upended the working world, but what's coming next?

The big picture: As vaccinations send people back to work and the world comes out of pandemic hibernation, these are the biggest trends to watch for in the workplace this year, according to experts.


Most workers who have been telecommuting will continue to work from home at least one day a week.

  • 69% of employers expect at least half of their employees to work remotely some of the time even after a full vaccination program is in place, according to new research from Gartner.
  • "People are going to be demanding the option to work from home," says Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution's Economic Studies program. And employers who don't offer it may have a hard time recruiting.
  • Firms are already hiring C-suite and director-level people just to oversee telework, and they'll continue to do so.

We'll see a spike in turnover when the pandemic is behind us.

  • Employees have been reluctant to switch employers during the pandemic," says Brian Kropp, head of Gartner's human resources practice. "They were concerned about being the last person hired if the company started to struggle. Many employees were also hesitant to change employers over fear of joining an all-virtual team."
  • But now we're almost out of the woods, and "given the pent-up turnover demand and the improving economy, employers should expect to see an increase in turnover," Kropp says.

Offices will change — and shrink.

  • Several companies, such as Target, Nordstrom and Salesforce, are giving up a share of office space to account for increased telework.
  • And even if we do go back, shared snack areas, office happy hours and company gyms won't be up and running for a long time.

We'll have shorter and fewer meetings.

  • Pandemic-era telework has resulted in a great deal of digital burnout, with people around the world spending 148% more time in meetings in February 2021 than in February 2020, per an analysis of aggregate Microsoft Teams data.
  • Look for companies to learn from this burnout and cut down on the number and length of meetings.

Reskilling is the next big frontier of corporate social responsibility.

  • 17 million U.S. workers will need to find new occupations as a result of job displacement during the pandemic, per McKinsey. Teaching these people the skills they need to get new jobs is becoming an essential part of the recovery — and a hot corporate social responsibility initiative for some of America's biggest companies.
  • Amazon announced an effort to provide free cloud computing skills to 29 million people by 2025. Microsoft and LinkedIn have provided digital skills training to 30 million people throughout the pandemic.

The return to work will be gendered.

  • Surveys at firms across the country show that men are likely to return to offices sooner and for more days than women, says Kropp.
  • That could worsen the gender wage gap because "64% of managers believe that office workers are higher performers than remote workers, and in turn are likely to give in-office workers a higher raise than those who work from home," he says.

The bottom line: The pandemic has been an accelerant for every work trend — good and bad.

  • And while companies should embrace the parts of telecommuting that make work more inclusive for workers with special circumstances, such as disabilities or child care, they should also be aware of the inequities in pay or workplace culture that remote work exacerbates.

Super League faces collapse after all 6 English soccer teams quit elite contest

The European Super League announced in a statement Tuesday night it's considering its future and "proposing a new competition" after all six English clubs pulled out of the breakaway tournament.

Why it matters: The announcement that12 of soccer's richest clubs' from England, Spain and Italy would start a new league was met with backlash from fans, soccer stars and politicians. The British government had threatened to pass legislation to stop it from going ahead.

Keep reading... Show less

Corporate America begins to see fallout after wading into politics

Corporate America is finding it can get messy when it steps into politics.

Why it matters: Urged on by shareholders, employees and its own company creeds, Big Business is taking increasing stands on controversial political issues during recent months — and now it's beginning to see the fallout.

Keep reading... Show less

Church shelters call out U.S. for expelling migrants when they have capacity

Despite the separation between church and state, the federal government depends upon religious shelters to help it cope with migration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Why it matters: The network supports the U.S. in times of crisis, but now some shelter leaders are complaining about expelling families to Mexico when they have capacity — and feel a higher calling — to accommodate them.

Keep reading... Show less

Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd is the rare officer conviction

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was shown kneeling on George Floyd's neck last year in a video that shook the nation, was found guilty of murder and manslaughter on Tuesday.

Yes, but: Eight years after the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officersto face legal consequences or jail time over the deaths of Black people.

Keep reading... Show less

Senate confirms Lisa Monaco as Justice Department's deputy attorney general

The Senate voted 98-2 on Tuesday to confirm Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general for the Justice Department, making her the agency's second highest-ranking official.

Why it matters: Monaco is expected to play a key role in Attorney General Merrick Garland's pledge to crack down on violence from domestic extremist groups, including the department's sweeping investigation of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Keep reading... Show less

Minneapolis reflects on Chauvin verdict as a step toward healing and calm

A growing crowd outside the Hennepin County Government Center broke out into cheers, hugs and tears of relief as word of the Derek Chauvin verdict spread just after 4pm CST.

Catch up quick: Eleven months after George Floyd died under the former Minneapolis police officer's knee, a jury of 12 neighbors returned a guilty verdict on all three counts.

Keep reading... Show less

"Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family": Nation reacts to Chauvin verdict

America is speaking out after the jury in Derek Chauvin's trial announced its guiltyverdict after about 10 hours of deliberation.

What they're saying...

Ben Crump, Floyd family lawyer: "GUILTY! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family ... Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!"

Keep reading... Show less

Derek Chauvin found guilty of all 3 charges in George Floyd's death

A jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd's death.

Why it matters: This rare conviction of a police officer may come to be seen as a defining moment in America's collective reckoning with issues of race and justice.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories