OMAHA — Distant employees have elevated because the pandemic hit, however new analysis into companies in Nebraska reveals that native tendencies could also be leveling off.

“Distant work is rising, however managers do not count on it to develop additional subsequent yr,” mentioned economist Eric Thompson, who led the research. No. They count on this improve to proceed.”

Extra progress than deliberate shrinkage

One other fascinating twist: Half of the businesses surveyed need to protect workplace area for distant employees who’re seconded to the workplace, in addition to for inner staff.

A lady is working from dwelling on a laptop computer pc. (Sean Gallup/Getty Pictures)

Most often, respondents didn’t cut back their bodily bargains on account of COVID-19. As an alternative, practically 90% mentioned he hasn’t modified his sq. footage because the pandemic hit in early 2020.

When requested about subsequent yr, about 11% anticipated workplace area to develop, in comparison with simply 3% who mentioned it was more likely to shrink.

newly launched, report — The research, titled “Nebraska Area Exploration: The Impression of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was produced by Thompson and Mitch Helian of the College of Nebraska-Lincoln Workplace of Enterprise Analysis.

Search for attitudes and tendencies

This research, carried out on behalf of the Nebraska Enterprise Growth Middle and the US Small Enterprise Administration, explored attitudes in direction of the altering area wants of distant work and repair companies.

Varieties of firms concerned within the research included monetary, data, skilled, instructional help, and technical companies.

These not surveyed had been firms that produce items, retailers, transporters or healthcare firms.

About 300 questionnaires had been answered, and the response price was about 19%. The sampling represents numerous sizes and places. About 58% of respondents mentioned they personal the property on which their enterprise operates.

Face-to-face work remains to be extremely valued

Amongst notable discoveries:

  • Almost 28% of firms surveyed have turn out to be accustomed to permitting distant work because the outbreak of the pandemic, whereas about 13% haven’t. The remainder, 59%, mentioned their emotions had not modified.
  • The consolation stage was increased in city areas. About 35% of respondents in Omaha or Lincoln are actually extra snug working remotely, in comparison with 19% of respondents in smaller areas.
  • Even with elevated consolation, a majority of practically 79% of respondents agree or strongly agree that face-to-face work is important to their firm’s operations.

Catherine Lang, govt director of NBDC, mentioned the info collected supplies a technique to benchmark attitudes towards distant work sooner or later.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has endlessly modified the best way Nebraskans work,” she mentioned.


Whereas the vast majority of staff (over 80%) nonetheless work full-time within the workplace, analysis has proven a major improve in these working remotely.

An workplace in your pocket west of Omaha. (Cindy Gonzalez/Nebraska Examiner)

The proportion of individuals working from dwelling not less than a part of the time jumped from practically 11% pre-COVID to about 17% on the finish of the survey a number of weeks in the past.

Nonetheless, trying forward one yr out, respondents don’t count on any actual change within the proportion of distant employees, suggesting that the phenomenon is leveling off, not less than within the quick time period.

“Elon Musk apart, it is fascinating to see the expansion of distant work trying sustainable.”

The irony refers to Musk’s latest buy of this week’s order for the workers of the Twitter social community. The billionaire mentioned he would finish the work-from-anywhere deal when he took over, and would make exceptions on a case-by-case foundation.


Thompson, director of the Enterprise Analysis Bureau, mentioned one of many key takeaways from the research was that many enterprise leaders need to preserve bodily area for his or her staff once they present up in individual. And it is value noting that distant work and improved consolation ranges for managers “have not actually led to widespread reductions in workplace area use,” he mentioned.

Logistics could possibly be one of many potential explanation why firms aren’t planning to alter, mentioned the research chief. Of his 58% of respondents who personal a office, 67% don’t lease it to different tenants.

Thompson mentioned the elevated consolation stage of telework could also be due partly to labor shortages and employers who’re extra responsive and conscious of their staff’ needs.

“Actually, with the challenges in hiring nowadays, they’ve a particular incentive to be open-minded,” Thompson mentioned.

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