Even before the long-reaching social and financial repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the world economy, a number of forward-thinking businesses were already thinking ahead to the potential benefits of a distributed workforce. Spurred by a changing dynamic that had at its core a new focus on swapping out concerns over lengthy commute times, long hours, and rising gas prices with enhanced quality of life issues, these companies began researching viable solutions geared to both retaining and hiring the best talent in an offsite/hybrid environment.
"People were biting off a two-hour commute but it was worth it to them because the trade-off was they could own a home where they could raise their kids and have a nice school district," notes Robert L. McKenna III, a California-based attorney who specializes in liability defense. "When that commute went away and you were still able to get your work done and get back 20 hours every week you didn't spend in traffic, it worked out very well for a lot of people."
While corporate honchos certainly hoped this strategy would prove to be a boon to their bottom lines, it also boded well for long-term work/life balance satisfaction and reciprocal loyalty between employers and employees. For prescient employers who'd seen the plus side of an at least partial virtual work model early on and were prepared to transition from onsite to remote/hybrid workforce, when the inevitable shift came, it went smoothly.