Red Sox or Yankees? Hamburgers or hot dogs? In the office or work from home? While some debates have been around for many years, the debate over whether employees should be required to be back in the office or be permitted to work from home continues for both private and public employers.

Workforce trends following the pandemic

Although many things changed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, few things changed as drastically as the world’s workforce. While a 40-hour workweek at the office was once the norm, for many, such a workweek is a thing of the past. However, as many employers attempt to return to their pre-pandemic way of life, the question remains whether this is the right thing to do.

How this affects State of Ohio employees

In Ohio, the decision of how often state employees should be in the office may land on the lap of the governor. As June winds down, some state legislators want to include a provision in the state’s budget that would prohibit most state employees from working at home for more than eight hours in a workweek. The proposed in-person schedule was added to a Senate-passed version of Ohio’s budget, due on June 30, 2023.

The shift to remote work

Changes in technology have enabled many employees who previously worked in the office every day to work from home or other remote locations. Laptops and wireless internet connections are as much responsible for the change in Ohio’s workforce as the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether employees will ever come back to work in numbers similar to pre-pandemic days, however, seems unlikely.

The debate as to whether a workforce should be remote, hybrid or in the office every day rages on. Every employer—including the State of Ohio—has the right to run its operation as it sees fit. The fate of employees who work for the State of Ohio will be known in the very near future.