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Calum Heath for Money

People have debated the merits of working remotely for years. Now it’s a necessity to help stop the spread of Coronavirus, and experts predict it could be the new normal long after the virus passes.

Over the past 10 years, 83% of U.S. companies have added flexible workplace policies, or are planning to adopt them, according to new research by the International Workplace Group. And while less than a quarter of full-time employees regularly work from home, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows, experts say COVID-19 could change that.

This is, "essentially, the largest social experiment ever," says Aaron Holt, a Houston-based labor and employment attorney. “An entire country and culture has required its workforce to go online. Now we’re seeing a whole lot of employers figuring out ways to make this work."

People are acclimating quickly to a remote work environment, and they’re unlikely to snap back to their normal routines once social distancing is over, Holt says. Here's what that means for the future of work.

Adaptable companies will thrive