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

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Back in 2018, I chose to work at HubSpot because I loved HubSpot’s content, and its culture.

Oh — and the smoothie pub, waffle Wednesdays, and ping pong tables didn’t hurt, possibly.

Office space has undeniably seen a change in recent years. Open-floor plans have become increasingly popular, as have got standing desks, beer on-tap, game rooms, and even green house spaces.   As this decade came to a close, many of the closest friends chose work opportunities based, at least in part, on office vibe.

And yet, it could long been said that remote function is the future. In fact , HubSpot has been touting the benefits of remote work since 2012 in the Culture Code, which says: “Work is not a place we go, may thing we do. inch

In 2020, that will premonition became a reality as the pandemic forced an entire worldwide workforce to shift to remote work practically immediately.

And now, as the dust forms and employees find new, innovative ways to work proficiently from home, many businesses are asking yourself: Do we even need   an office, anymore?

Let’s discover how marketers across the Oughout. S. feel about remote operate 2021, and whether remote work is just a current necessity — or the new long-term reality.

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

Will employees return to the office?

To explore whether employees will return to work in 2021 (if they’re permitted to do so), I actually started by surveying 496 marketers and asked problem: If given the option to go back to your physical workplace in 2021, are you going to return or continue to work remotely?

The results were split roughly in half. 40% of marketing experts will continue to work remotely full-time — and the leftover 11% don’t have the option to operate remotely, but wish they did.

However , that leaves 49% of marketers who do desire the option to work in an office space , at least part-time.

A few break down that 49% for the second: out of that 49%, 24% of marketers don’t have the option to work remote, yet prefer their office space anyway; 9% want to return to work as soon as it’s possible to do so; and 16% prefer a flexible routine so they have the option to do possibly.

hubspot data 2-min

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Other research supports this trend. Pew Research Center surveyed more than 10, 000 U. S i9000. adults and found 54% of workers want to keep on working from home  following the pandemic ends. A third echoed they’d like to work remotely at least partially — while just 11% said that they had like to return to the office full-time.

HubSpot’s employee data illustrates this shift as well, with many employees now preferring remote control work over in-office — in fact , two-thirds of HubSpot employees plan to work remotely  more often even after offices re-open, and approximately 16% plan to shift to fully-remote  the first time.

I spoke with Meaghan Williams, HubSpot’s Remote Function and Inclusion Program Manager, to get a better sense since to  why many marketers may want to remain remote even after the pandemic has ended. She told me: “Before COVID-19 forced everybody to work from home, a ‘work from home day’ for an office-based employee was often scheduled on a day where possibly they had appointments, deliveries, or weren’t feeling well. inch

“‘Work from home’ quickly became equated with low productivity, distraction, and functioning from one’s couch. Using the long-term commitment to working at home, I suspect many folks have discovered a way to carve out a successful work space, create a routine, and make the most of their working hours to enable more productivity. inch

Williams says, “Working remotely is not really for everyone, but for some, the ability to focus without the distraction of the office or freedom to be able to jump on your laptop when creativity strikes (rather compared to try to hold onto the idea whilst sitting in traffic! ) may have them hooked on remote control for the long-haul. ”

Of course , logistics will factor into an employee’s decision to return to an office, as well. For instance, numerous businesses are selling their office spaces and subsequently driving employees to become fully-remote; additionally, some companies are relocating to satellite offices, or simply reducing the amount of office locations they own globally.

Ultimately, the information suggests that many employees may wish to remain remote after the outbreak has ended, but others can prefer having the option to return to an office.

Which poses a distinctive challenge: How can companies satisfy all its employees requirements, when those needs seem split so evenly down the middle?

Many companies (HubSpot included), will be increasingly interested in creating a hybrid experience  — meaning, employees will have the choice to remain fully-remote, return to the office full-time, or experience a small amount of both.

Let’s dive much deeper into what this data means for marketing managers, following.

What the Data Means for Marketing and advertising Managers

If you’re in a administration position, you’ll likely find that a lot of your employees want to stay remote even after the outbreak has ended.

Remote life  provides its perks. For instance, Vrnda LeValley, a Customer Training Manager at HubSpot, told me, “I plan on staying totally digital because I enjoy using my commute time to meditate and mentally prepare for my time. Additionally , I love the flexibility to work with anywhere. ”

“I like that working remotely frees up the ability to select places to reside that truly support the particular inclusive and diverse encounter that is so important when establishing a sense of community and that belong. ”

Additionally , Leslie Green, HubSpot’s Senior Social Media Campaign Manager, says, “I decided to move to a fully remote employee throughout the pandemic to be closer to my network and to choose the home, not based away my job, but where I actually wish   to live. Becoming near my network and a city (Austin) that fits my lifestyle enables me to ‘show up to work’ as my best self daily. ”

Remote life offers employees the flexibleness to work where, when, and how they want; and it enables companies to attract talent from across the globe without barriers like physical proximity to an workplace remaining a factor in hiring decisions.  

However , there are certain challenges you’ll face when leading a remote team — many challenges of which are already highlighted during the 2020 pandemic-activated shuffle. Let’s dive right into a few of those, now.

1 ) Marketing managers will need to purchase high-quality remote tools and platforms.

If you’re managing a remote control team, you’ve likely locate some unique challenges regarding communication and technology.

For example, 39% of employees believe their transition  to remote work would be improved along with better remote tools and platforms  to communicate and collaborate.

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

High-quality video conferencing tools, messaging platforms, and task and project management software are necessary for ensuring your team continues to succeed regardless of where they operate 2021 and beyond.

In addition , collaboration tools  like Search engines Suite or Microsoft Workplace Teams can help you align your own team on your company’s eyesight and the specific functions your team needs to complete to assist your company grow over the next year.

With 45% of remote control employees worrying about team cooperation when it comes to working with colleagues each in-office and remote, it might be critical you continue to purchase tools that help you make alignment regardless of where each group member works.

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

second . Marketing managers should keep on prioritizing remote employees’ growth.

As a manager, it’s important you ensure your workers feel they’re continuing to develop in their roles even when fully-remote.

Seeking out unique growth and development possibilities might feel more difficult whenever working remote than in-person — in fact , 40% associated with remote employees feel remote control life has negatively impacted  their career progression:

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

To continue facilitating your employees’ growth over the long-haul, it could critical you set up annual or bi-yearly performance plus career growth conversations, even if working remotely.

Additionally , think about how you might implement task-tracking or project management documentation  to stay on-top of your employees’ progress when you ask them to carry out certain marketing activities, since you no longer have the privilege associated with watching them excel in-person.

Standardizing the tools you use to track your team’s progress can assist you quickly identify high-performers on your own team and reward them accordingly.

3. Marketers have to lead with empathy.

Your own team is dealing with the highly-stressful and difficult time — and not just professionally.

Many team members are likely juggling childcare, psychological health stressors as a result of the particular pandemic, and other major deterrents to their daily work. In fact , 46% of employees surveyed say their work efficiency has been negatively impacted because of changes at home as a result of COVID-19:

survey responses to how workplace performance has been impacted by COVID

Additionally , roughly 50 percent of employees worry their performance will be evaluated with no taking those challenges into consideration.

A good manager leads along with empathy — when having weekly discussions with your workers or even performance reviews, it’s vital you take the time to understand outdoors factors that could contribute to less-than-ideal performance, and keep those elements in-mind when evaluating your own employees’ performance.

Additionally , understanding your employees’ situation could help you recognize areas you might be able to support them as their chief. For instance, if you know an employee is definitely on “childcare duty” within the mornings, it’s important you take the extra step to ensure you are not Slacking them during that time or scheduling meetings they can’t attend.

These small details could go a long way towards creating a healthier, more productive work-life balance for all your employees.

While these tips should help you as you learn to lead a remote team, you will probably come across some unique challenges as offices reopen and businesses segue into a hybrid workplace. Next, let’s explore some expert tips on ways to create — and embrace — a hybrid office for the long-term.

Expert Tips on Creating Hybrid Workplaces

To learn how businesses can create hybrid workplaces in 2021 plus beyond, I spoke along with Eimear Marrinan, HubSpot’s Director of Culture.

She informed me: “One of the biggest points to consider is how to effectively create a culture that enables productivity and, ultimately, engagement in a crossbreed work model. ”

Marrinan adds, “Being proactive in thinking critically about your tradition will make or break numerous organizations this year. ”

When you’re beginning to consider how you might develop a hybrid workplace, there are a few factors Marrinan encourages leaders to keep in-mind. These include:  

    • Create a really inclusive environment , one which is equitable regardless of area. That means being really purposeful and intentional about how a person engage with employees — technical things like holding team meetings or offsites virtually otherwise all employees are in-office, leaning into virtually comprehensive events and programmings so the experience is the same regardless of where you sit, and making sure any perks and benefits are location-agnostic and not based upon an office location. For instance, we announced at HubSpot in 2021 and 2022 any kind of new benefits and perks can be enjoyed regardless of place.
    • Culture is not tied to an office — it is rooted in an agencies values and behaviors. Ensuring you have the right values plus behaviors in-place to begin with will become so important as organizations shift to hybrid. Bring your own culture back to the basics, and consider the fundamentals — electronic. g. having a culture associated with flexibility, adaptability, and sympathy.  
  • Ask your workers for feedback. At HubSpot, we purchase seeking feedback from our workers upfront regarding what they worth, what they want, and what concerns they have. Listen to your employees — and not only listen, yet act on the feedback. This really is new for so many businesses, so we can’t just assume we know all the answers… we all most certainly don’t.  

Tamara Lilian, HubSpot’s Manager of Tradition and Experience, echoes Marrinan’s advice, adding, “Creating an effective hybrid workplace will take full commitment from the business, together with adaptability and empathy. Regardless of how strong your in-office encounter was prior, this culture you value so significantly will not translate to a hybrid world on its own. ”

A few explore a few other tips with regards to creating a hybrid workplace, from marketers and leaders in the industry working to embrace the hybrid experience.  

1 . Create intentional decisions with the hybrid experience at the forefront of your mind.  

Tamara Lilian, HubSpot’s Manager of Culture and Experience, suggests making intentional decisions from the get-go to ensure remote work isn’t only an afterthought in your planning: “Before you create any experience for your employees within a hybrid world, you first need to nail being proactive compared to reactive, and really be deliberate on your approach to the experience. ”

She adds, “Zoom links, considering timezones, and getting mindful of an employees work-from-home environment can no longer be an afterthought — these have to be built into your approach from day one. ”

To truly invest in a hybrid environment, it’s vital you make decisions without choice towards those at-home or in-office. Instead, you’ll want to produce an experience your employees can enjoy from anywhere.  

second . Shift your current employee offerings to meet their new requirements, and include employees in your process.  

A few years ago, the majority of HubSpot’s onboarding trainings had been in-person, which meant a person needed to fly to an office and stay in a hotel to attend them.  

Today, the trainings are entirely remote.  

It’s important, as you move to a crossbreed model, that you figure out how to change your current offerings so they can offer equal value regardless of a homeowner’s physical location.  

Lilian asks, “How can you change your current offerings to meet your own employees’ needs in a cross world — for instance, perhaps you consider how you can pivot your growth and development offerings to more of a self-serve model exactly where folks can engage with assets when and where is best for them, and never on your timezone or plan. ”

3. Allow flexibility in your employees’ schedules.  

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

She told me, “One of the principal benefits of being remote is the capability to create a unique work schedule. Whenever companies remain inflexible — i. e. expecting employees to log in exactly in 9 AM or constantly checking in on them upon Slack to see if these types of online — they take away one of the principal benefits of being remote. ”

“Remote workers lose social contact, office banter, and in-person camaraderie, however the flexibility makes up for that. Stay flexible, trust your employees to get their work performed, and don’t get obsessed with somebody’s ‘online’ status. Whether these people online or not has no keeping on whether they’re really getting work done. inch

four. Remote workers shouldn’t be the particular exception to the rule.  

HubSpot’s Senior Director of Creative, Dmitry Shamis, informed me: “I was remote before the pandemic, but something I actually learned during the last year is that remote doesn’t have to be the exception to the rule. ”

“I used to travel the office once per month thinking it was a must for keeping the team together and showing people that Now i’m accessible, and now that there’s no workplace I realize how much time I wasted with TSA, weather delays, hotel check-ins, etc . — plus, how much forced activity needed to take place when I was around. inch

“From here on away, I think when the team does get together (and keeps this virtually inclusive), it will be much more genuine. People need to learn not to lean on a physical office space as a crutch — there are better ways to connect with people regardless of location. ”

five. Encourage your employees to take advantage of the perks associated with remote meetings.  

Stephanie Worley, Microsoft Advertising’s Global Brand Storytelling Leader, informed me how important it is for her and her team to set boundaries regarding work and home life: “People are definitely working long hours these days. Within my role at Microsoft Advertising, I spend my time connecting with colleagues, clients, and partners around the world.   Microsoft Teams   is among the most glue that connects all of us and supports our discussions and collaborations through movie calls, chat, and revealing documents. ”

She adds, “One thing we’ve noticed during this pandemic is that with no normal work transitions of a commute, walking between meetings and walking to the break room, we can easily sit down in front of our desks from early morning to late in the night if we don’t fixed some boundaries for ourselves. ”

Additionally , she states she’s personally found it helpful to take some conferences outside for the fresh air plus new perspective: “Microsoft Teams is mobile, which allows us to participate in meetings and collaborate with peers through anywhere. I have begun a new practice of taking a walk during meetings.   A daily walk during a meeting helps me get out, get some fresh air, exercise, and stimulate even more creative thinking. ”

Otherwise you team adjusts to a crossbreed setup, consider encouraging each employee to switch up exactly where they take meetings. Whether you aren’t in-office or remote, a hybrid team gives you all the flexibility to take meetings on-the-go.  

6. If achievable, offer at-home stipends. In addition , prioritize your employees’ psychological health as they adjust to this particular new normal.  

Christina Mautz, Chief Marketing Officer & Head of Sales at Moz, shared some critical components she’s utilized to help her team alter over the past year.  

The lady told me, “Moz operated like a remote-first company prior to any kind of changes mandated by the pandemic. We’ve found employees function best when office lifestyle prioritizes things like accountability, sympathy, and transparency. Those beliefs are so much more important compared to asking our teams to be at their desk for any set amount of hours each day. ”

“That being said, ‘remote work’ means different things to many each person. The young colleague who will be fresh out of college may not have a dedicated office space within their home, while new or even working parents might feel the conflict of juggling daily tasks against sharing the same space with their virtual-learning children. To help, Moz offers stipends for home internet, mobile phone company, plus a $500 home office reimbursement. ”

Above all, she notes the importance of prioritizing your employees’ mental wellness: “We’ve addressed the many life-changing experiences we’ve all lived through publicly and made sure our employees know they could speak with HR and leadership openly. We’ve also reminded Mozzers of our Employee Support Program that provides mental health benefits for those in need. inch

“And, while it might seem easier to work remotely compared to commuting to the office, our team managers encourage workers to take care that work (because it’s now happening from home) doesn’t take over. Being a global office across several time zones, not every issue gets an immediate answer. Task progress and KPIs nevertheless rest on shoulders; but , as an organization, we’ve distributed that we know our staff can’t go at completely all the time. ”

Moz’s CMO told me, “Each of these components are intended to help our employees thrive in whatever ‘office’ these are in — during these separating times, and long after. inch

The good news? This “new normal” is offering companies the chance to truly give new meaning to their values and enable employees to make their own decisions regarding where, when, and exactly how they perform best.

The businesses that come out on top would be the companies that listen plus grow with these worldwide changes to continuously improve workplace culture.

Trust all of us: Your employees will thank you.    

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