kohei_hara / Getty Images

With the Delta variant contributing to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, it is becoming more and more likely that remote working will take longer than some bosses initially hoped. And there is renewed speculation as to whether it will become an integral part of the business landscape.

See: Employees would rather work from home than get a raise
Find: The Great Resignation – Encouraging job report in June hides this worrying trend

After another wave of delays in getting back to work, some companies are considering keeping the offices closed for nearly two years, the Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend. This has made some executives fear that the longer employees work from home, the more difficult it will be to pull them back into the office.

“When you have a small rash, people go back to the old way. Well, that’s not a slip-up, ”Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, told the WSJ. “There’s no going back.”

He believes hybrid and remote work will remain the norm for months and even years.

See: How To Protect Yourself When You Return To Your Office
Finding: 10 Big Companies That Offer Paid Returns for Job Applicants Looking To Get Back To Work

One reason is that many Americans who work remotely have changed their routines and lifestyle during the pandemic – something that will be difficult to undo should working life return to pre-pandemic norms. In addition, many enjoy the flexibility that comes from working at home. Surveys show that the enthusiasm for remote work has only grown the longer the pandemic lasts.

Meanwhile, the return dates for offices and on-site are further delayed. Last week, Apple told corporate employees that the company’s planned return to the US offices would be postponed at least until early next year, the WSJ reported. Amazon and Facebook made similar announcements, while companies like Chevron and Wells Fargo postponed the return in September. Lyft said it will call employees back to its San Francisco headquarters in February – almost two years after the rideshare company originally closed its offices.

Some companies have already made the decision to make remote or hybrid work an integral part of the landscape. As previously reported on GOBankingRates, the companies that have introduced a remote-first or hybrid model since the pandemic include Shopify, Coinbase, Nationwide, Quora, Upwork, Basecamp, VMWare, Pinterest and Dropbox.

More from GOBankingRates

About the author

Vance Cariaga is a London based writer, editor and journalist who previously worked for Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work has also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, and Business North Carolina Magazine. He holds a BA in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism from the University of South Carolina. His coverage has been recognized by the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards, and AlterNet. Vance’s. is from North Carolina and also writes fiction The short story “Saint Christopher” took second place in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, will be published by Atmosphere Press in 2021.