Only 3% of World Resources Institute employees say they need to be in the office in order to be productive, says Renuka Iyer, head of human resources. She does expect some staff to come back in the summer and fall, but “the pandemic has really had us rethink what it means to get work done, and how we get the work done."
In line with her non-profit’s focus on the environment, Iyer recognizes the energy that would be saved with a smaller office as well as having fewer employees in the office. But she also understands the downside of no face-to-face interactions among colleagues and is fielding questions from staff fearful they will lose out on mentoring and career opportunities if they're working remotely. Still, Iyer is hopeful that working remotely could be sustainable over the long-term.
“You just look back into how humanity has lived life, and you have pen pals,” Iyer says. “Who would have thought pen pals would have great human connections? But they did.”