In the next year, hybrid work is here to stay in Virginia

A new survey of Virginia CPAs confirms a change in how and where Virginians will work in the future — and some office footprints will shrink. As the Commonwealth pulls out of the pandemic, more employees are heading back to the office, but remote working is still very commonplace. 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.

 

The 2021 Future of Work Survey by the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) of nearly 700 CPAs around the state assessed CPAs’ concerns for their firms and companies as well as how new workplace could affect physical office spaces. CPAs are trusted business leaders who run the state’s accounting firms and serve in top corporate positions like chief executive and financial officers — so they have their fingers on the pulse of what Virginia businesses foresee in the coming year.

 

“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.  

 

During the pandemic, 93% of organizations surveyed were either all remote or implemented a hybrid model. Only 7% of organizations were all onsite, mostly due to the nature of their businesses. Changes have already started, with survey respondents revealing in the next 12 months they expect full-time remote working to decrease by 17% and all on-site work to double.

 

And while many people will return to the office, the pandemic made clear to some leaders that some jobs are well-suited to remote work. In fact, more than one-third (37%) of respondents plan to make remote work a permanent option for roles that allow it.

 

Remote working is only possible with the right tools, however. CPAs acknowledge that improving the remote work experience and investing in new technologies to support that work are top priorities. These findings echo a recent report from Accounting Today, which found that the majority of employers across all industries believe they will have the appropriate resources in place to navigate technology challenges, which include security breaches and high-speed Internet accessibility.

 

Will making some positions remote affect physical office spaces? CPAs believe so. A full 40% said they will reduce their office footprints. Workplace safety requirements will become more stringent for 29% and work sites and offices will also be reconfigured for social distancing (24%).

 

And finally, there’s one other issue that keeps CPAs up at night: the people factor. Issues of utmost importance include maintaining staff connectivity, engagement and morale, attracting and recruiting new staff, addressing employee mental health and well-being (37%), managing a remote workforce (33%), and onboarding and training new staff (29%). 

Visit the VSCPA Center for Innovation, founded in 2018, to find future-forward resources and learning opportunities to help prepare for the workplace of the future. The Center has premier resources and content to shape the way you and your business focus on innovative technologies; talent-related issues and organizational culture; leadership development; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); and mental health. Learn more at vscpa.com/Innovation.

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

 

 

The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) is the leading professional association in the Commonwealth dedicated to empowering CPAs to thrive. Founded in 1909, the VSCPA has more than 13,000 members who work in public accounting, industry, government and education. For more information, please visit the Press Room on the VSCPA website at vscpa.com or call (800) 733-8272. To search for a CPA in your geographic region, visit vscpa.com/FindaCPA.