Hybrid of remote, on-site work here to stay


Virginia Society of Certified Public AccountantsThe future of the workplace will include more remote working and hybrid options in the wake of the pandemic — and some office footprints will shrink, according to the 2021 Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants Future of Work Survey of nearly 700 VSCPA members, conducted in May and June.

As CPAs and other business professionals navigate the changing work landscape, survey respondents said their top concern is related to staffing: maintaining engagement and morale; attracting and recruiting talent; and supporting employee mental health.

“COVID-19 impacted businesses and the way we work in unprecedented ways. Like others, CPA leaders have been asking, ‘When will we (or will we at all) return to the office?’ and ‘What will the future workplace and workforce look like?’” said VSCPA President & CEO Stephanie Peters, CAE.

“As our members work through a wide range of reopening plans, we wanted to find out the key considerations on their minds. With this survey data, we know staffing is a top concern, especially as they navigate the new normal of hybrid work,” she added. “On June 30, we held a free virtual roundtable for members to discuss the survey results, hear success stories, and share best practices around the future of work. And through our Center for Innovation, we are planning more programming and resources to meet these evolving needs.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • Staffing is CPAs’ No. 1 concern. Maintaining staff connectivity, engagement and morale topped the list of concerns (48 percent), followed by attracting and recruiting new staff (39 percent), addressing employee mental health and well-being (37 percent), managing a remote workforce (33 percent), and onboarding and training new staff (29 percent).
  • A hybrid of remote and on-site work will continue over the next year. As full-time remote working begins to decrease, hybrid work arrangements will shift from mostly remote with some on-site work to mostly on-site with some remote work. Over the next 12 months, full-time remote working is expected to decrease by 17 percent and all on-site work is expected to double over the next 12 months.
  • Remote working is now mainstream. More than one-third of respondents (37 percent) will make remote work a permanent option if the role allows it. Other plans for implementation include improving the remote work experience (34 percent), investing in new technologies to support remote work (30 percent), and making changes to workplace safety measures (29 percent).
  • Some offices will get smaller. A full 40 percent of respondents say they will reduce their office footprints, which is directly in response to increasing remote operations for 65 percent of respondents, followed by 23 percent with a reduction in staffing and 15 percent seeing a decline in business. While 40 percent are not making office space changes, 5 percent will give up traditional office space all together and 4 percent will increase space.
  • Vaccines are not required, but safety is a priority. While the majority (45 percent) say they will not require a vaccine, they are highly encouraging it and/or have a mask mandate in place for those who are not vaccinated.

To prepare CPAs for the challenges ahead related to workplace shifts, the VSCPA Center for Innovation, founded in 2018, connects VSCPA members with resources and learning opportunities to help them prepare for the workplace of the future. Resources are focused on technology and talent-related issues, with offerings including continuing professional education, member webinars and roundtables, leadership programs, articles, partner discounts and more. Learn more at vscpa.com/Innovation.

Click here to find a PDF full summary of the 2021 VSCPA Future of Work Survey results.


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