Recent studies show that the shift to fully remote workplaces increased work productivity, decreased tendencies to procrastinate, enabled employees to take more frequent breaks, and motivated them to work slightly more per month (1.4 days).
WFH is a concept that felt odd at the beginning of 2020, but now 2-years later is an expectation for many employees. Some people report requiring a 4x salary increase to consider working at an in-person office again (read: I report that about myself).
Work-life balance, zero-commute workdays increase ability to spend meal times with the household, take short walks in your own neighborhood, brew your own coffee – the list goes on. The time saved from the commute (especially in cities like NYC, Chicago, or LA) reduces a workday by 2-4 hours easily, and the cost saved on gas, transit, parking, and eating out is substantial.
Gallup estimates that 45% of workers were at least partially, if not fully, remote by the end of 2021.
Also, 91% of those people hope their remote work will continue when the pandemic ends.
Remote work is here to stay.
You can safely assume as much as 25-50% of the members in your church work from home.
Here are three things that means for your church:
1. Engage with them
WFH employees often have more flexible schedules than people who work in an office from 8-5 Monday – Friday. This can be advantageous for church collaboration, quick lunch or coffee meetings, and volunteer opportunities throughout the week. Especially for members who already desire to serve who work from home, communicate with them about different needs throughout the church community and give them an opportunity to volunteer.
2. Provide them opportunities to serve with their particular skills and gifts
Many workers, especially in tech, became more familiar with robust software solutions in the last 24 months than the prior 10 years combined. Your church can learn from them. What software do they use to communicate? How do they market their business to people who are in similar spaces? What tools do they use to engage Gen Z? Don’t reinvent the wheel. Many people who WFH are experts at engaging people in technological spaces (be in Slack, Discord, or the Metaverse). Continuing to build communities online like you did in 2018 will near-guarantee a decrease in engagement for Gen Z, because in the last two years they’ve all learned more technologically advanced ways to communicate with each other than ever before in history.
3. Listen to them to understand current workplace trends
Evangelistically, the world has never been more different. With shifts in the digital age speeding up, the introduction of the metaverse, and more complex online communities being built, people are becoming increasingly comfortable forming real relationships with people they’ve never (and may never) meet in real life. Ask the people engaged in tech trends (who may or may not work from home) how your church community can infiltrate this new space and be a light and presence to people IRL and online.