Survey: Nonprofits Consider Permanent Work From Home
The pandemic may have made a significant impact on office life. What will happen to water cooler gossip, colleague lunches and corporate wardrobes? One thing that hasn’t been affected apparently is productivity.
For nonprofits with positions that can accommodate remote work, more than half are considering permanent remote work options, according to NonprofitHR’s “Nonprofit Return to Workplace 2021 Pulse Survey Results.” After all, 97% of nonprofits viewed remote work as “successful” or “somewhat successful” during the pandemic, though numbers favored organizations that did not provide direct community service.
In the nonprofit space, 70% of staff has been working remotely overall, though that number varies by mission type with 67% of social enterprise, 55% of housing and houselessness, 15% of foundations and 13% of human service organizations remote.
With little to no effect on missions, leadership found the risks outweigh the benefits of an in-person workforce. The areas where they struggled were concerns for mitigating health risks for staff (85%), whether to require staff vaccinations (47%) and how to get input on a return to work plan (37%). In terms of workforce strategy, there were four areas of concern:
- 64% worried about maintaining company culture
- 57% felt collaboration and teamwork might suffer
- 49% feared reduced productivity and engagement
- 43% wondered if effective communication would be affected
One facet that could complicate returning to the office is the number of people who relocated during the pandemic. About half of those surveyed reported 1% to 25% of their staff relocated (though the survey pointed out not all are considered permanent relocations). Of those respondents, half moved out of state and another 9% moved out of the country.
NonprofitHR surveyed 635 organizations that covered 43 states plus Canada and Australia, as well as more than 30 mission areas and budgets ranging from less than $5 million to more than $500 million.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the July/August 2021 print edition of NonProfit PRO as “The Pulse: Infographic.” Click here to subscribe.