Large Bay Area company recognizes benefits of permanent work-from-home setup

One of the largest companies in the Tampa Bay Area is selling its huge headquarters building and allowing many of its employees to work from home.

The president of Kforce, Joseph J. Liberatore said, "The pandemic has permanently changed the way we work and has showcased our ability to thrive remotely."

Kforce is a staffing and professional services company that employs around 600 people on Palm Avenue in Ybor City. The company says it will acquire a new headquarters building in the Tampa Bay Area with a smaller footprint.

Kforce joins a growing number of companies deciding that more employees can work from home even after the pandemic.

Toni McElreath of Tampa was having twins just as her company decided employees would work from home.

"Working from home for me, I get to be a part of the babies’ routines in the morning and then get online," said the account manager. 

The twins, Luke and Londyn, are now 7 months old. McElreath’s workday can start early, stop for a doctor visit, and start again late. "And I’m able to catch up on emails late," she continued. 

She’ll miss some things about the office.

"But at the office, are you going to be able to go for a walk down Bayshore, or walk the dog, or even take your babies on a stroller ride?" she asked.

McElreath believes she’s more productive at home utilizing technology and a flexible schedule. More companies are agreeing. 

"Organizations are absolutely seeing that their employees are more productive," says Pamela Chandler Lee, who heads the MBA program at St. Leo University. "And the reason they’re more productive is they’re working more hours."

Lee says people who do return to their offices should expect changes and new office buildings are being designed differently.

"When you do have to go into these office buildings, there’s more space and maybe it changes the look of the cubicles," she said.

Lee warns that managers and employees will need to watch for a new kind  of burnout as people work both day and night on flexible schedules.

McElreath knows the coming years will be busy, raising twins and managing a career from her home.