RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — As covid cases rise many companies are choosing to keep their employees working remotely. However, industry experts say a full return to the office is dead.
“We used to be about 80 percent face-to-face and 20 percent online,” said Dr. David Plummer, Vice President for Information Services, Planning, Performance, and Strategic Initiatives at South Texas College. “And we don’t think it’s ever going to go back to 80 percent.”
Experts say that post-COVID-19 we are seeing a shift to remote work in many industries.
IT, Human Resources, and universities are just a few examples.
“Our faculty a lot of them can do work from home,” said Plummer. “We just made a conscious decision to lower the density and not have so many people on campus.”
South Texas College is preparing for yet another semester of mostly remote learning.
For many professors that means they’ll be greeting their students from a webcam once again.
“A lot of students don’t want to drive to campus they can now just do zoom online,” said Plummer. “Same thing with advising; all those things are going to stay. Our students like it and our faculty as well.”
Marc Cenedella, CEO of online job search service Ladders, tells NBC News this is the biggest shift in the workplace since World War II, when women joined the workforce in great numbers.
But in 2022, can employers function in a remote state of mind?
Plummer says yes, just not entirely yet.
“You need people on campus. There are just some programs like welding, chemistry labs, nursing, there are things where you have to have hands-on [instruction],” Plummer said.
By the end of 2021, the number of available permanent remote positions doubled from 9 percent to 18 percent, data from Ladders. It is predicted to go up to 25 percent by the end of 2022.