Survey: Kansas City-area businesses to continue 'work from home' after pandemic

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 08:06:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A survey from Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce showed a significant number of businesses will follow a work-from-home model even after the pandemic is over.

The survey, conducted in December, revealed 46% of businesses that responded plan to continue a work from home option.

Joe Reardon, president and CEO of the chamber, said the pandemic proved employees could be productive while at home.

"Productivity still stayed high," Reardon said. "So what we're hearing from a lot of businesses now, as we think about reentering the workplace, (they're) building more flexibility in for their workforce."

Reardon said offering a feasible work-from-home option helps build a trusting relationship between an employer and employees.

"I think we're going to see a lot of companies that embrace that flexibility knowing that they're going to have more productive employees, they're going to have more employees that are motivated," Reardon said.

H&R Block announced it plans to bring employees back into the office in September. However, Tiffany Monroe, chief people officer, said a hybrid model will be adopted.

"It certainly has changed the way that we do business," Monroe said. "We learned very quickly that we can go virtual, that we can be as productive and more productive virtually."

41 Action News began looking into the work-from-home outlook across Kansas City after a mom said it's been good for her family.

"As a mom with a toddler and another on the way, having extra time in the day, saved from not commuting, helps lower stress tremendously for me and my family, with dinners at the table and enjoy after school activities that start at 5:30, which would have been a pipe dream before COVID," she said.

While many businesses are looking at adding flexibility into their work model, the office isn't going away.

Monroe said H&R Block employees will still meet to collaborate.

"It kind of drives innovation, creativity, those types of things," Monroe said."Our model will be three days in the office. All of us together. Then two days remote."

Work-life balance may now be an attainable reality.

"I think every business is gonna have to figure out how you strike the balance between that empowerment of flexibility and the desire, from a cultural standpoint, to bring your teams together physically in an environment," Reardon said.