When the pandemic forced businesses, including law firms and corporate legal departments, to look at work arrangements from a new perspective in 2020, there was no time for hesitation. If you wanted to remain viable, you needed to go all-out in ensuring your employees could continue to work. The typical response focused on setting up technology, security and processes for people to work from home. For the most part, leaders did a bang-up job of keeping the wheels turning. Most did not, however, have the luxury of thinking past the urgency of the moment to ruminate on the potential longer-term effects of this work-from-home experiment.

In 2021, we’ve gotten a much clearer picture. And while many business leaders acknowledge the success of their remote work model—83% of employers told PwC through its US Remote Work Survey that the pandemic-inspired shift to remote work has been successful for their companies—some still don’t like the idea of breaking from traditional office protocols. They can’t ignore the demands of their employees for greater flexibility, however. For this reason and others, it looks like hybrid offices are likely to become the norm rather than the exception. In a 2020 Gartner study, 82% of company leaders said their organizations plan to offer some level of remote work to their employees post-pandemic.