The traditional workspace could be forever changed after the COVID-19 pandemic as workers gain a new outlook on work and life.
A recent Prudential study says 26% of workers will be looking for a new job post-pandemic.
"People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses," said Elizabeth Castillo, assistant professor in the College of Integrative Sciences and the Arts and Center for Behavior, Institutions and the Environment at Arizona State University. "[The pandemic] It’s helped people to readjust their priorities. So, what is really important to them? Also realizing they have more options so when their hours got cut back, they figured out a way to make it work, and for some of them that meant starting their own businesses a lot of times."
Castillo said employers are in danger of losing workers if they don't adapt to their employee's needs.
"To be more competitive, they're going to have to treat their employees as well as they treat customers," said Castillo.
For people who have spent the last 14-15 months working from home, moving back into the building could be a tough transition. Polarizing health and political topics will make for interpersonal adjustment, says one UArizona researcher.
"I do think this pandemic has generated a certain degree of social awkwardness that a lot of people may have to deal with unexpectedly when they return to work," said Chris Segrin, a UArizona Behavioral Science Researcher.
Big corporations are compromising with eligible employees when it comes to work-from-home options. For example, Google and Twitter are allowing employees to work from home indefinitely, and Facebook is allowing employees to apply to work from home.
"[The pandemic] taught many people about alternatives to their work. If my productivity can stay high, what’s the point in coming back? Why not just work from home?" said Segrin.