The new era of office work has a direct impact on the development of Nashville
Employers are reviewing their work-from-home policies at this stage of the pandemic, with some adopting new hybrid models.
why is it important: The continuous evolution of office work is actively shaping the development of the city.
Between the lines: Kristie Abston, a management professor at Middle Tennessee State University, tells Axios that her conversations with local business leaders highlight the need for flexibility.
- Some employees would rather quit than return to the office full-time, she says, while others seek in-person interaction.
- “A one-size-fits-all approach to returning to the office is not wise,” says Abston. Companies “should listen to the wishes of employees”.
Driving the news: Bridgestone Americas has adopted a hybrid model where employees come in for certain team meetings but are allowed to work from home as they wish. Vice President of Communications Steve Kinkade told Axios the approach was in line with employee surveys.
- He says the new model has improved productivity and is a valuable retention and recruiting tool.
- “He’s definitely here to stay, from Bridgestone’s perspective,” Kinkade said. “The best of both worlds really is the answer.”
Nissan has also adopted a hybrid model for its Middle Tennessee offices, according to a spokesperson.
HCA Healthcare, on the other hand, will bring employees back to the office full-time starting next month.
- “We believe working in person benefits our colleagues and our organization by strengthening our culture and promoting teamwork and professional development,” spokesperson Harlow Sumerford told Axios.
Meanwhile, Local co-working spaces are seeing renewed interest as workers adjust to a new normal.
- Nashville is a top market for shared workspace company WeWork, Atlantic Territory Vice President Errol Williams told Axios.
- Reservations here are at more than 90% capacity, he says.
State of play: John Richardson, owner of local coworking space InDo Nashville, told Axios that short-term options such as day passes and conference room rentals have grown as people are looking for a “base of structure” without abandoning their home office.
- “People are happy to be out of their homes, but also happy to have the option to work from home,” he says. “On a rainy Friday, if you can work from home, that’s what I would like to do.”
The plot: According to an Axios-Momentive poll, two-thirds of American adults say that working in the office and working remotely will continue to coexist in the future.
💼 Here is what some of you said when we asked about your work setups last month:
Emily D.: “I’m back in the office and LOVE it. I thought it would be something I would never want to do again.”
- “While I miss the opportunity to do laundry at noon, I love stopping by people’s desks to ask questions. … For this outgoing bachelor, it’s been a very positive transition.”
Chelsea M.: “The company I worked for imposed a five-day-a-week back-to-office policy.”
- “I started a new job entirely remotely.”
Megan O.: “I left my full-time job in December, which reverts to hybrid work, to full-time freelancing, which is mostly from home.”
- “I didn’t leave because the agency moved to hybrid working, but simply commenting on how much I’m part of the big quit movement of leaving the workforce and not coming back in the traditional way.”
Phil L.: “I’ve been working remotely since moving to the White House [20 miles north of Nashville] in October 2017.”
- “I work in public relations and recently took on a new role that might not have been available to remote candidates before the pandemic,” he says. “It’s a positive thing that’s come out of COVID, and it’s increased options for working from home.”
Ryan V.: “Over the past two years, I’ve been more productive, less stressed, and slept better. Being able to do household chores during the day…gave me more time in the evenings to spend with my family.”
- “My company has announced that we have to come back once a week for half a day in June, which I think will lead to reduced productivity for me.
Michelle N.:We have to go back to the office at least one day a week after school is over.”
- “Most of us don’t want to go back.”