In early March, the Covid pandemic meant working from home became the new normal for many of us. By the start of April, nearly 35% of workers in the US had swapped the office for their homes. But the new normal isn’t temporary. Long after coronavirus, working from home will remain a big part of our lives.
During the transition to remote working in March 2020, about 25% of executives and small-business owners purchased new digital tools to help employees working from home. A large majority expect that tool usage to be permanent.
These will be the companies whose workers will remain working from home in some function post-pandemic, as we move towards a more integrated system of in-person and virtual work.
Companies that have invested in their digital workforce during the pandemic will see reverting to the old normal as a step backwards.
It won’t be ubiquitous though. Workplace expert and futurist, Alexandra Levit, says the reaction to Covid and working from home has split businesses into two camps.
There are the companies that will keep in place remote work, and those are the ones that were already somewhat distributed to begin with, and then there are the companies that have an entrenched office culture and haven’t yet changed their minds.
The new reality of working from home is one we'd have faced in the next decade or so anyway, says Alexandra (pictured right). The pandemic has simply accelerated the process and the businesses that haven't yet changed their mind around remote work will have to adapt to a new way of thinking about and structuring their workforce.
A long-term shift to hybrid working
It isn’t feasible to say everyone who has an internet connection, Zoom, or a Microsoft Teams account is good to go with remote work. Jonathan Dingel—associate professor of economics at Chicago Booth School of Business and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research—explains that the transition raises big questions for organizations about how they structure their workforces, and how they cause personnel to work with one another.
“That’s not going to be the default for firms that were organized with the assumption of co-located people working face to face,” he says.
Michael Segalla, professor of management at HEC Paris who also has a PhD in organizational studies and labor relations, adds that workers don’t want to live fully atomized lives disconnected from human contact.
In the immediate future, splitting work between the office and home will be unavoidable as companies restructure their workplaces for coronavirus. A rota system will be temporarily required as different teams alternate between office and home to adhere to social distancing requirements.
But beyond that, hybrid work will remain.
The shift to remote work could be particularly resounding in the US. A National Bureau of Economic Research paper found that more than 35% of firms think that 40% or more of the current switch to remote working will be permanent.
Twitter has told its employees they can continue to work from home permanently. Other big tech firms like Google and Facebook have said they will operate at around 30% of office capacity, with most workers allowed to work from home through 2020.
Before the pandemic, Jonathan (pictured right), together with Brent Neiman—the Edward Eagle Brown professor of economics at Chicago Booth—predicted that around 37% of US jobs could be plausibly done at home. The pandemic has accelerated the transition.
“This has taken maybe five or ten years of change and crunched it down into just a couple of short months,” explains Jonathan, who teaches a course on managing the firm in a global economy at Booth. “The pandemic has potentially changed the future of work in the sense that lot of these changes might not have happened absence [it].
“I think it will force people to adopt new technologies and potentially change their beliefs and lead businesses to reconsider their office and personnel arrangements in a variety of different ways.”
I have met the most competent and diverse batch in this school. These people not only thrive on their own but also makes sure that you are doing it with them. The professors will take your had and walk you through all milestones and make sure you are not left behind. I have found their extracurriculars extremely engaging. There was always a room to have social life after academic life. The only hindrance is the location of the school, it is slightly outside city and living in city is expensive.
Internationality and diversity of opportunities
About my programme I would say it is very international and flexible: we have the opportunity to choose exactly the courses we want. But at the same time, the frame of the campus is crucial in students' life and enable us to create friendships.
Great selection of people
While HEC's MBA is highly selective, I really enjoy the type of people HEC's selects to make sure everybody gets the best out of their MBA experience and networking opportunities. Not only it's an incredibly diverse pool of people (~60 nationalities) but most importantly they make sure to let in friendly empathic and curious people.
Best in France for Grande ecole
A prestigious business school. Languages are important. It is better to have a scientific baccalaureate with excellent grades in high school and good assessments. The courses are well designed as per the latest trends and practicality of learning in stressed upon. Overall, a very good experience.
Diversity and quality of fellow students
Very international and interesting place to be and opens a lot of opportunities, however the administration is very french and facilities are subpar (gym, classrooms) meaning the academic affairs is pretty much useless and lastly we are graded on a curve which can create a toxic environment because of the competition. With that being said the pros outweighs the cons by far.
The quality of the teachers, the campus, the clubs
The school is very international indeed, we have courses with international students and share things with them within the extra academic life (in the social clubs especially). We have great career prospects if we prepare ourselves well - however, the global curriculum is still very finance-oriented, which is a pity for other interesting domains of the company world, which does not rely on finance only. The social clubs are good practice for the management and for now, are quite independent.
HEC Paris awaits you
HEC Paris is really a nice place to do a master's in business. Many classes are useful and interesting (corporate finance, financial accounting, contract law…), some are less - but the curriculum is to be reviewed in the year to come. Regarding the student life, it is incredible, with about 130 clubs, lots of great parties with even greater people. The Jouy campus offers a lot of opportunities to do sports, and you can breathe fresh air every day. HEC also helps a great deal to find an internship or a job.
A dream institute
Enrolling in the HEC MBA was by far the best decision I made for myself. The people and faculty are great, with lots of opportunities to meet people and expand your horizons. Very nice campus where I have had some good running sessions. The alumni network is superb and very helpful. It also has a good support system for entrepreneurs. Would definitely recommend it!