Will Marketers Return to Offices in 2021? What Companies Need to Know [Data + Expert Tips]

Again in 2018, I selected to work at HubSpot as a result of I cherished HubSpot’s content material, and its tradition.

Oh — and the smoothie bar, waffle Wednesdays, and ping pong tables did not damage, both.

Workplace area has undeniably seen a change in recent times. Open-floor plans have turn out to be more and more common, as have standing desks, beer on-tap, sport rooms, and even greenhouse spaces. As this decade got here to an in depth, lots of my closest mates selected jobs primarily based, no less than partly, on workplace vibe.

And but, it is lengthy been stated that distant work is the long run. In reality, HubSpot has been touting the advantages of distant work since 2012 in its Tradition Code, which states: “Work is not a spot we go, it is a factor we do.”

In 2020, that premonition turned a actuality because the pandemic pressured a complete international workforce to shift to distant work virtually in a single day.

And now, because the mud settles and workers discover new, progressive methods to work productively from residence, many companies are questioning: Will we even want an workplace, anymore?

Let’s discover how entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. really feel about distant work in 2021, and whether or not distant work is only a present necessity — or the brand new long-term actuality.

Design and document a culture code for your business with the help of this  free template. 

Will workers return to the workplace?

To discover whether or not or not workers will return to the workplace in 2021 (in the event that they’re permitted to take action), I began by surveying 496 entrepreneurs and requested the query: If given the choice to return to your bodily office in 2021, will you come back or proceed to work remotely?

The outcomes had been break up roughly in half. 40% of entrepreneurs will proceed to work remotely full-time — and the remaining 11% haven’t got the choice to work remotely, however want they did.

Nonetheless, that leaves 49% of entrepreneurs who do need the choice to work in an workplace area, no less than part-time.

Let’s break down that 49% for a second: out of that 49%, 24% of entrepreneurs do not have the choice to work distant, however desire their workplace area anyway; 9% need to return to the workplace as quickly because it’s doable to take action; and 16% desire a versatile schedule so that they have the choice to do both.

hubspot data 2-min

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Different analysis helps this pattern. Pew Analysis Middle surveyed over 10,000 U.S. adults and located 54% of workers want to continue working from home after the pandemic ends. A 3rd echoed they’d prefer to work remotely no less than partially — whereas simply 11% stated they’d prefer to return to the workplace full-time.

HubSpot’s worker knowledge highlights this shift as properly, with many workers now preferring distant work over in-office — actually, two-thirds of HubSpot employees plan to work remotely extra typically even after places of work re-open, and roughly 16% plan to shift to fully-remote for the primary time.

I spoke with Meaghan Williams, HubSpot’s Distant Work and Inclusion Program Supervisor, to get a greater sense as to why many entrepreneurs might need to stay distant even after the pandemic has ended. She advised me: “Earlier than COVID-19 pressured everybody to do business from home, a ‘do business from home day’ for an office-based worker was typically scheduled on a day the place maybe they’d appointments, deliveries, or weren’t feeling properly.”

“‘Make money working from home’ rapidly turned equated with low productiveness, distraction, and dealing from one’s sofa. With the long-term dedication to working from residence, I believe many people have discovered a method to carve out a productive work area, create a routine, and profit from their working hours to allow extra productiveness.”

Williams says, “Working remotely isn’t for everybody, however for some, the flexibility to focus with out the distraction of the workplace or freedom to have the ability to leap in your laptop computer when creativity strikes (slightly than attempt to maintain onto the concept whereas sitting in site visitors!) might have them hooked on distant for the long-haul.”

After all, logistics will issue into an worker’s resolution to return to an workplace, as properly. As an example, many businesses are selling their office spaces and subsequently forcing workers to turn out to be fully-remote; alternatively, some corporations are relocating to satellite tv for pc places of work, or just lowering the quantity of workplace places they personal globally.

Finally, the info means that many workers will need to stay distant after the pandemic has ended, however others will desire having the choice to return to an workplace.

Which poses a novel problem: How can corporations meet all its workers wants, when these wants appear break up so evenly down the center?

Many corporations (HubSpot included), will probably be more and more eager about making a hybrid experience — that means, workers could have the choice to stay fully-remote, return to the workplace full-time, or expertise just a little of each.

Let’s dive deeper into what this knowledge means for advertising managers, subsequent.

What the Information Means for Advertising Managers

In case you’re in a administration place, you will probably discover that lots of your workers need to stay distant even after the pandemic has ended.

Distant life has its perks. As an example, Vrnda LeValley, a Buyer Coaching Supervisor at HubSpot, advised me, “I plan on staying completely digital as a result of I get pleasure from utilizing my commute time to meditate and mentally put together for my day. Moreover, I really like the pliability to work from anyplace.”

“I like that working remotely frees up my means to pick out locations to reside that really help the inclusive and numerous expertise that’s so necessary when establishing a way of neighborhood and belonging.”

Moreover, Leslie Inexperienced, HubSpot’s Senior Social Media Marketing campaign Supervisor, says, “I made a decision to maneuver to a totally distant worker through the pandemic to be nearer to my community and to decide on my residence, not primarily based off my job, however the place I truly need to reside. Being close to my community and in a metropolis (Austin) that matches my way of life permits me to ‘present as much as work’ as my finest self every day.”

Distant life presents workers the pliability to work the place, when, and the way they need; and it permits corporations to draw expertise from throughout the globe with out boundaries like bodily proximity to an workplace remaining a consider hiring choices. 

Nonetheless, there are particular challenges you will face when main a distant group — many challenges of which have been highlighted through the 2020 pandemic-activated shuffle. Let’s dive into just a few of these, now.

1. Advertising managers might want to put money into high-quality distant instruments and platforms.

In case you’re managing a distant group, you’ve got probably come throughout some distinctive challenges relating to communication and expertise.

As an example, 39% of employees believe their transition to distant work could be improved with higher distant instruments and platforms to speak and collaborate.

survey responses to, 'how can your company improve transition to remote work?'

Excessive-quality video conferencing instruments, messaging platforms, and process and venture administration software program are needed for guaranteeing your group continues to carry out properly no matter the place they work in 2021 and past.

Moreover, collaboration instruments like Google Suite or Microsoft Workplace Groups might help you align your group in your firm’s imaginative and prescient and the particular features your group wants to finish to assist your organization develop over the subsequent 12 months.

With 45% of distant workers worrying about group collaboration in the case of working with colleagues each in-office and distant, it is important you proceed to put money into instruments that provide help to create alignment no matter the place every group member works.

survey responses to, 'top concern you have when working with a hybrid team'

2. Advertising managers ought to proceed prioritizing distant workers’ development.

As a supervisor, it is important you guarantee your workers really feel they’re persevering with to develop of their roles even when fully-remote.

Looking for out distinctive development and improvement alternatives would possibly really feel tougher when working distant than in-person — actually, 40% of remote employees feel remote life has negatively impacted their profession development:

survey responses to, 'how has being full-time remote impacted your career progression?'

To proceed facilitating your workers’ development over the long-haul, it is important you arrange yearly or bi-yearly efficiency and profession development conversations, even when working remotely.

Moreover, take into account the way you would possibly implement task-tracking or venture administration documentation to remain on-top of your workers’ progress if you ask them to carry out sure advertising actions, because you not have the privilege of watching them excel in-person.

Standardizing the instruments you employ to trace your group’s progress might help you rapidly determine high-performers in your group and reward them accordingly.

3. Entrepreneurs want to steer with empathy.

Your group is coping with a highly-stressful and troublesome time — and never simply professionally.

Many group members are probably juggling childcare, psychological well being stressors because of the pandemic, and different main deterrents to their every day work. In reality, 46% of workers surveyed say their work efficiency has been negatively impacted on account of modifications at residence because of COVID-19:

survey responses to how workplace performance has been impacted by COVID

Moreover, roughly 50% of workers fear their efficiency will probably be evaluated with out taking these challenges under consideration.

supervisor leads with empathy — when having weekly discussions along with your workers and even efficiency evaluations, it is vital you are taking the time to grasp outdoors components that would contribute to less-than-ideal efficiency, and preserve these components in-mind when evaluating your workers’ efficiency.

Moreover, understanding your workers’ state of affairs may provide help to acknowledge areas you would possibly be capable to help them as their chief. As an example, if you understand an worker is on “childcare obligation” within the mornings, it is necessary you are taking the additional step to make sure you’re not Slacking them throughout that point or scheduling conferences they cannot attend.

These small particulars may go a great distance in direction of making a more healthy, extra productive work-life stability for all of your workers.

Whereas the following pointers ought to provide help to as you study to steer a distant group, you will probably come throughout some distinctive challenges as places of work reopen and companies segue right into a hybrid office. Subsequent, let’s discover some skilled tips about how one can create — and embrace — a hybrid office for the long-term.

Knowledgeable Recommendations on Creating Hybrid Workplaces

To discover how companies can create hybrid workplaces in 2021 and past, I spoke with Eimear Marrinan, HubSpot’s Director of Tradition.

She advised me: “One of many greatest issues to think about is methods to successfully create a tradition that allows productiveness and, finally, engagement in a hybrid work mannequin.”

Marrinan provides, “Being proactive in considering critically about your tradition will make or break many organizations this 12 months.”

If you’re starting to think about the way you would possibly create a hybrid office, there are just a few components Marrinan encourages leaders to maintain in-mind. These embrace: 

    • Create a very inclusive surroundings, one that’s equitable no matter location. Meaning being actually purposeful and intentional about the way you have interaction with workers — tactical issues like holding group conferences or offsites nearly if not all workers are in-office, leaning into nearly inclusive occasions and programmings so the expertise is similar no matter the place you sit, and ensuring any perks and advantages are location-agnostic and never dependant on an workplace location. As an example, we introduced at HubSpot in 2021 and 2022 any new advantages and perks will be loved no matter location.
    • Tradition isn’t tied to an workplace — it’s rooted in an organizations values and behaviors. Ensuring that you’ve got the best values and behaviors in-place to start with turns into so necessary as organizations shift to hybrid. Carry your tradition again to the fundamentals, and take into account the basics — e.g. having a tradition of flexibility, adaptability, and empathy. 
  • Ask your workers for suggestions. At HubSpot, we put money into looking for suggestions from our workers upfront relating to what they worth, what they need, and what considerations they’ve. Hearken to your workers — and never solely pay attention, however act on the suggestions. That is new for therefore many corporations, so we won’t simply assume we all know all of the solutions … we most definitely do not. 

Tamara Lilian, HubSpot’s Supervisor of Tradition and Expertise, echoes Marrinan’s recommendation, including, “Creating an efficient hybrid office will take full dedication from the enterprise, together with adaptability and empathy. Regardless of how robust your in-office expertise was prior, this tradition you worth so deeply is not going to translate to a hybrid world by itself.”

Let’s discover just a few different suggestions in the case of making a hybrid office, from entrepreneurs and leaders within the business working to embrace the hybrid expertise. 

1. Make intentional choices with the hybrid expertise on the forefront of your thoughts. 

Tamara Lilian, HubSpot’s Supervisor of Tradition and Expertise, suggests making intentional choices from the get-go to make sure distant work is not simply an afterthought in your planning: “Earlier than you create any expertise on your workers in a hybrid world, you first must nail being proactive versus reactive, and actually be intentional in your strategy to the expertise.”

She provides, “Zoom hyperlinks, contemplating timezones, and being aware of an workers work-from-home surroundings can not be an afterthought — these must be constructed into your strategy from day one.”

To really put money into a hybrid surroundings, it is vital you make choices with out desire in direction of these at-home or in-office. As an alternative, you will need to create an expertise your workers can get pleasure from from anyplace. 

2. Shift your present worker choices to fulfill their new wants, and embrace workers in your course of. 

A number of years in the past, most of HubSpot’s onboarding trainings had been in-person, which meant you wanted to fly to an workplace and keep in a lodge to attend them. 

Now, the trainings are solely distant. 

It’s important, as you progress to a hybrid mannequin, that you determine methods to shift your present choices to allow them to provide equal worth no matter an individual’s bodily location. 

Lilian asks, “How will you shift your present choices to fulfill your workers’ wants in a hybrid world — for example, maybe you take into account how one can pivot your development and improvement choices to extra of a self-serve mannequin the place of us can have interaction with assets when and the place is finest for them, and never in your timezone or schedule.”

3. Enable flexibility in your workers’ schedules. 

Ivelisse Rodriguez, a Historic Optimization Specialist at HubSpot, urges employers to encourage flexibility when switching to a hybrid office.

She advised me, “One of many principal advantages of being distant is the flexibility to create a novel work schedule. When corporations stay rigid — i.e. anticipating workers to log in precisely at 9 AM or always checking in on them on Slack to see in the event that they’re on-line — they take away one of many principal advantages of being distant.”

“Distant staff lose social contact, workplace banter, and in-person camaraderie, however the flexibility makes up for that. Keep versatile, belief your workers to get their work performed, and do not get obsessive about somebody’s ‘on-line’ standing. Whether or not they’re on-line or not has no bearing on whether or not they’re truly getting work performed.”

4. Distant staff should not be the exception to the rule. 

HubSpot’s Senior Director of Artistic, Dmitry Shamis, advised me: “I used to be distant earlier than the pandemic, however one thing I discovered over the past 12 months is that distant would not must be the exception to the rule.”

“I used to journey the workplace as soon as a month considering it was a should for conserving the group collectively and exhibiting those who I am accessible, and now that there isn’t any workplace I notice how a lot time I wasted with TSA, climate delays, lodge check-ins, and so forth. — plus, how a lot pressured exercise wanted to occur once I was round.”

“From right here on out, I feel when the group does get collectively (and retains it nearly inclusive), it is going to be much more real. Folks must study to not lean on a bodily workplace area as a crutch — there are higher methods to attach with individuals no matter location.”

5. Encourage your workers to benefit from the perks of distant conferences. 

Stephanie Worley, Microsoft Advertising’s International Model Storytelling Chief, advised me how necessary it’s for her and her group to set boundaries relating to work and residential life: “Persons are definitely working lengthy hours as of late. In my function at Microsoft Promoting, I spend my day connecting with colleagues, prospects, and companions all over the world. Microsoft Groups has turn out to be the glue that connects us and helps our conversations and collaborations by video calls, chat, and sharing paperwork.”

She provides, “One factor we have realized throughout this pandemic is that with out the traditional work transitions of a commute, strolling between conferences and strolling to the break room, we will simply sit in entrance of our desks from early morning to late within the evening if we do not set some boundaries for ourselves.”

Moreover, she says she’s personally discovered it useful to take some conferences outdoors for the contemporary air and new perspective: “Microsoft Groups is cellular, which permits us to take part in conferences and collaborate with friends from anyplace. I’ve begun a brand new apply of taking a stroll throughout conferences.  A every day stroll throughout a gathering helps me get out, get some contemporary air, train, and stimulate some extra inventive considering.”

As your group adjusts to a hybrid setup, take into account encouraging every worker to change up the place they take conferences. Whether or not you are in-office or distant, a hybrid group offers you all the pliability to take conferences on-the-go. 

6. If possible, provide at-home stipends. Moreover, prioritize your workers’ psychological well being as they alter to this new regular. 

Christina Mautz, Chief Advertising Officer & Head of Gross sales at Moz, shared just a few vital parts she’s used to assist her group alter over the previous 12 months. 

She advised me, “Moz operated as a remote-first firm previous to any modifications mandated by the pandemic. We have discovered workers work finest when workplace tradition prioritizes issues like accountability, empathy, and transparency. These values are a lot extra necessary than asking our groups to be at their desk for a set quantity of hours per day.”

“That being stated, ‘distant work’ means various things to many alternative individuals. The younger colleague who’s contemporary out of faculty might not have a devoted workplace area of their residence, whereas new or working dad and mom would possibly really feel the battle of juggling day-to-day duties in opposition to sharing the identical area with their virtual-learning youngsters. To assist, Moz presents stipends for residence web, cell phone service, plus a $500 residence workplace reimbursement.”

Above all, she notes the significance of prioritizing your workers’ psychological well being: “We have addressed the various life-changing experiences we have all lived by publicly and made certain our workers know they will communicate with HR and management overtly. We have additionally reminded Mozzers of our Worker Help Program that gives psychological well being advantages for these in want.”

“And, whereas it may appear simpler to work remotely in comparison with commuting to the workplace, our group managers encourage workers to take care that work (as a result of it’s now taking place at residence) doesn’t take over. As a world workplace throughout many time zones, not each query will get a right away reply. Venture progress and KPIs nonetheless relaxation on shoulders; however, as a company, we have shared that we all know our workers cannot go at 100% on a regular basis.”

Moz’s CMO advised me, “Every of those parts are supposed to assist our workers thrive in no matter ‘workplace’ they’re in — throughout these isolating instances, and lengthy after.”

The excellent news? This “new regular” is providing corporations the prospect to really redefine their values and allow workers to make their very own choices relating to the place, when, and the way they carry out finest.

The businesses that come out on prime would be the corporations that pay attention and develop with these international modifications to constantly enhance office tradition.

Belief us: Your workers will thanks.  

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