Unexpected result of working from home? Survey says some feel closer to their co-workers

Staffing firm Robert Half says 27% of office workers currently working at home said they actually feel closer to their coworkers now. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/Ridofranz)

An unexpected side effect of so many Americans working remotely is that some people say they actually feel closer to their co-workers.

Staffing firm Robert Half says 27% of office workers it surveyed who are currently working at home said so.

Difficult and uncertain times can have that effect.

“I think the biggest thing is that everyone is feeling like they are in the same situation, so there is this ‘we’re in this together’ attitude,” Trey Barnette, at staffing firm Robert Half in D.C., told WTOP.

“I think also it is a little bit of fear. People will usually band together when fear arises — uncertainty, as well as all of the new challenges,” he said.

Once workers begin returning to the office, there will be many changes, and most are aware of obvious ones, such as PPE, social distancing and altered office layouts.

One many have not yet given thought to: staggered work schedules.

Robert Half says 55% of the office managers it recently surveyed said they are considering them, and that could mean a jolting change to the work schedules people are used to.

“Having a staggered shift is going to help because you won’t have everyone coming at the same time. You could see some of those 8 to 5 shifts becoming more of a 12 to 8, and we’ve even heard of some that could be moved to a 4 p.m. to midnight shift,” Barnette said.

One change that might be welcome to many office workers? No more dreadfully long in-person meetings. Robert Half says 70% of employers are already expecting to cut back on staff meetings and training sessions.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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