Some forecasts estimate that 25%-30% of the global workforce will work from home for several days a week by the end of 2021, thanks to the pandemic and new ways of working. Nearly 50 million workers in the U.S. economy alone switched in 2020 from working in an office to working from home. Now as COVID-19 infection rates fall, workers are trickling back to the office in many metropolitan cities at the highest rates since the pandemic began.
So is the global business travel industry headed back to the office? Are we still waiting for the doors to re-open? And given the option to go back, are we taking it or staying home?
According to the latest GBTA COVID-19 recovery poll, one-third (31%) of respondents said their company’s offices have not largely reopened, and the majority of employees continue to work from home/remotely. Respondents based in North America (34%) were more likely than those based in Europe (15%) to say their company’s offices have not largely reopened, and the majority of employees continue to work from home/remotely.
Two-thirds of respondents (67%) still have significant flexibility to work from home. This includes those who say their company’s offices largely have not re-opened (31%) or have permanently closed (2%), and those who said their offices have re-opened but employees can choose to work from the office or from home (34%). Over half (55%) of respondents said their company treats office re-openings consistently across all locations, while one-third (33%) do not. However, an additional one in ten (11%) do not know.
To see GBTA’s October poll results, click here.