Some employers, including St. Louis technology company LockerDome, have made work-from-anywhere a permanent option.

Chief Executive Gabe Lozano called the decision a no-brainer. “The pandemic showed that our employees are happier and more productive when they can choose a work environment that best suits their lifestyle,” he said. “Our potential talent pool has also expanded considerably by removing geographic considerations and better catering to individual needs.”

LockerDome, he added, will keep its downtown headquarters and also open a hub in Austin, Texas.

Other companies aren’t ready to give employees complete free rein, but acknowledge that they’ve learned a lot about the productivity of remote work.

Dan Stephen, president of Central Bank of St. Louis, thinks between 10% and 20% of his staff might become long-term remote workers. “If they are doing analytical work, they may perform better at home,” he said. “For creative work or meeting with clients, we expect those jobs will migrate back to the office.”

Stephen thinks bank lobbies, too, will be 10% to 15% less busy than before the pandemic, because customers are used to mobile apps and online banking. His commercial loan officers used e-signatures last year to replace 80% of the “wet” signatures they once required on documents, and Stephen thinks that efficiency also is here to stay.