More companies could soon start rethinking workspace because of COVID-19

How will local companies move forward?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We're on your side finding out if and when employers will bring their people back into the workplace, and whether employees even want to return when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

We spoke with the Birmingham Business Journal to find out how this pandemic could change our idea of the workplace.

The BBJ just completed a survey with about 250 influential business leaders in Birmingham to find out how this pandemic has impacted their workflow and how they'll move forward.

First, the BBJ said about 75% of the larger companies said their employees are still working from home.

Business leaders said more testing, better contact tracing, and an improvement in treatment would need to happen before they'd ask workers to return.

But employers also told the BBJ they're really in no rush to get their workers back into the workplace any time soon.

So what could that mean long term?

"As we get to the recovery, I think you're going to see a lot of companies looking back on this experience and one, taking steps to plan for making a situation more bearable in the future," said Ty West, BBJ Editor-in-Chief. "But also thinking about, 'What did we learn from that that might be helpful for our company moving forward?' And I think that flexible office space and flexible work hours is one of those things."

West said we could see more employers rethinking their office space, whether it be downsizing because more people will work from home, or expanding in order to keep workers socially distant.

But he said this would be a gradual change over the next few years.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.