A Table for None, Please; Working From Home on the Rise

Q4 | December 2020

stack of old newspapers, pile of old newspapers

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Brad Weber, CPA, CA, CFP

December 18, 2020

Image used with permission: iStock/hanohiki


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A Table for None, Please; Working From Home on the Rise

Q4 | December 2020

Reading is one of the principal occupations in our profession. As we digest a wide range of material, interesting ideas and surprising facts – some serious and some light-hearted – rise to the surface. We attempt to share a few of those with you in each of our issues of Nexus Notes.

A table for none, please

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to our lives and has left us wondering what the new normal might be. We have seen our dining options go mobile with limited opportunity for either indoor or outdoor dining. While eating in restaurants will return one day, people’s appetite for increased take-out options could be here to stay. In its recent earnings call, fast-food chain Wendy’s announced they are exploring a drive-thru-only restaurant model. They join a long list of their peers that include Burger King, Taco Bell, Chipotle, and even IHOP that are all looking at variations to their store formats. These alterations include more drive-thru options, curbside delivery, and pickup lockers for mobile orders. While the pandemic has driven the shift in consumer habits, there are signs that some of these changes will become permanent. (“Wendy’s Teases The Idea Of A Drive-Thru-Only Model”, Forbes, Nov 6, 2020)

Working from home on the rise

A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights how U.S. businesses have adapted during the pandemic. The report shows that 31% of private-sector companies increased working from home for their employees, and those businesses employ 68.6 million workers. Overall, 52% of private-sector companies did not offer work from home options, and these businesses employ a combined 46.6 million workers. Industries that did increase work from home include education, finance and insurance, and holding companies. Those not offering this option include food services, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and retail. As expected, industries that could alter their operations to allow employees to work remotely did so. They also employ more workers than those sectors that required their employees to still come into work. What remains to be seen, is how many employees that started working from home during the pandemic will stay there. (“Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic”, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 7, 2020)

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