Is remote work here to stay? Sort of, says Chamber of Commerce
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – With the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations steadily increasing, many employers and employees alike are thinking about the future of working from home – something that has become part of our lives for the last year.
Sybil McClain-Topel with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce says she expects that remote work is here to stay, at least partially.
In fact, she says that Chattanooga is now one of the most highly sought after cities in the country to live for remote workers.
“We got a very high ranking with PC Magazine, number one in the country for remote workers, and that’s based on a lot of factors like quality of life and the fact that we have the fastest internet in the world. So those are things that people are really looking at, lot’s of great stories about people working for companies like Spotify and other big brand name companies that have moved here,” says Topel, referring to this article from PCMag.
At BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, 96 percent of employees have been doing work remotely since the start of the pandemic, leaving their corporate offices largely vacant.
According to public affairs manager John Hawbaker, this has shown that a hybrid model of remote and in-person work can be successfully utilized in post pandemic times.
“I think hybrid’s a good word for it. I think flexibility’s a good word for it. Resilience is another, we’ve demonstrated that we’ve been able to shift rapidly and still deliver the service that our members count on. Another good example of when this matters is when we have a severe weather incident. Now we know that we can deliver the service we need to with people working from home,” explains Hawbaker.
Hawbaker adds that the time at home will allow workers to spend more time with family, running errands, and doing other household tasks that they normally wouldn’t be able to do if they were working full-time in the office.