People are different, so naturally, they may have differing views or opinions. As with any issue or public policy, we must try to see things from more than one perspective. By assessing what types of issues we might be confronted with, we can try to find solutions for these issues and be better prepared to ease any concerns coming from the public.
Potential issues and their responses:
Enforcing a policy that grants employees the ability to work remotely whenever possible and incentivizes companies to become fully remote will likely be met with a little resistance from employers and employees alike. This could simply be due to the fear of the unknown, but it may also stem from real concerns or logistic questions.
Some issues we might be confronted with would be employers worrying that their employees would not get as much work done if they are at home, and employees worrying that they would not be able to focus on work if not in an office. Thankfully, I have found responses for these concerns that should put most people’s minds at ease:
For the employers worrying about employees not being productive at home, we would show them one of the several studies that indicate that working from home actually increases employee productivity (Caramela, 2020).
The employees worried about not being able to focus at home can rest assured that their employers would be dipping into their newfound savings by increasing their salaries to compensate them for new home office accomidations. Companies could increase their employees salaries enough to account for this change and still end up saving money, as office buildings are not cheap. “In New York, office space per employee costs on average $14,800 annually” (French, 2015).
The government should give companies incentives to make this switch in the form of tax credits. If a company switches to being fully remote, they should receive a tax credit of $500 for every employee that will now be working from home as a result.
Companies should increase their employee salaries by a total of 20-40% of how much they were paying for office space rent, divided up among the number of employees.
Start the implementation of this policy in phases so that it is a gradual process. That is more likely to be well received since it allows for an adjustment period for the parties involved.
Phase 1: Companies are to allow their remote-capable employees to work remotely for 3 months.
Phase 2: Companies are to strongly encourage all remote-capable employees to work remotely for 3 months.
Phase 3: Companies are to enforce that all remote-capable employees work remotely.
Finally, after two years, we should reassess and act accordingly. Ideally, we should see that air pollution has significantly declined, and that employees and employers are happier with the new state of operations. However, if we note that this policy has failed, we will then discuss changes that can be made to achieve results that will be most beneficial to all parties involved.
Caramela, S. (2020, March 31). Remote Workers Are More Productive. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/15259-working-from-home-more-productive.html
French, S. (2015, May 27). Here’s How Much Your Company Pays to Rent Office Space. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-how-much-your-company-pays-to-rent-office-space-2015-05-27