What's the Future of Hybrid Work in Massachusetts?

In the current climate, many job seekers have the upper hand in asking for hybrid or work-at-home schedules

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Experts say the pandemic has forever changed the workforce.

Right now, employees have the edge in deciding how they work.

In Massachusetts, the state’s unemployment rate is currently 3.9%. Companies are still dealing with the great resignation, and right now businesses and workers are trying to navigate a new office world.

“I would definitely try to argue for more of a hybrid model,” said Julia Ricketti, a hybrid worker who said she would fight to keep it if told to come into the office all the time.

“Given our current crisis in terms of unemployment and hiring and the ‘great resignation,’ employers feel very much tied to ensuring employees get what they want in terms of their preferences in how to work,” Dr. Danna Greenberg, Babson College.

Dr. Greenberg specializes in organizational behavior. She says productivity may not suffer with at home working, but creativity does.

“We’re social beings as people and we need community. And, many of us have lost the community that comes from people being in the office physically together,” Dr. Greenberg said.

Dr. Wen Fan of Boston College studies changes in the workplace including the possibility of employees in high tech working four eight-hour days in which the pay and job expectations would stay the same as a 40-hour week.

“They see reductions in burnout, work stress, increases in job satisfaction,” Dr. Fan said.

Employers, though, have to re-think how they run the business, like ditching those long meetings that don’t really accomplish anything. It’s part of finding a new balance

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Colin Powell, who works from home. “I think the more time we can have on the weekend, especially in the summer, the happier people are, and the happier people are the harder they work.”

The experts we spoke with also say in the current climate job seekers have the upper hand in asking for hybrid or work-at-home schedules.

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