Many employers are approaching a year from the date they were forced to temporarily close due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Companies across the world soon realized that their employees were just as productive, if not more productive while working remotely. According to a study conducted by UpWork, by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will work remotely. UpWork has also reported that 41.8% of Americans still are working from home almost a year after companies decided to move remote. Many employees are hoping to work from home even after the pandemic is over, but why? Are there benefits to working in the comfort of your own home? Are businesses saving money?
Benefits of working from home
- Less Commute Stress
-On average one-way commuting time in the U.S. is 27.1 minutes. This equals nearly an hour each day people spend going to and leaving work.
- Saving Money
-Remote workers typically save $4,000 a year by working from home. These savings come from commuting costs such as gas, transportation, coffee, lunches, clothing, etc.
- Less Distractions
-People can control their work situation now more than ever. You are able to stay on task without the distractions of fellow employees and can create your own comfortable workspace where you know you will be most productive.
Although there is a dozen more reasons why working from home is beneficial, there are a fair share of disadvantages and why some may argue that working in an office is more efficient.
Disadvantages of working from home
- Difficulty of sticking to a routine
-When you are working at an office you have set up a routine for yourself. When you have to get up and get ready for the day, when you have to leave for work in order to arrive on time, etc. Now that people across the world are working at home, many argue that it is difficult to start off the day when you are constantly surrounded by your life outside of work.
- Lack of Community and Work
-Your office is a community. You and your fellow employees have created a team where you spend hours collaborating and working together face to face to achieve tasks. Some may find it difficult to spend hours in front of the computer with no real interaction with others. Although Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, etc. have done wonders, it may not be as efficient as sitting together in the office.
- Little Motivation
-It can be very easy to lose motivation when you are not surrounded by others working.
There is no question that COVID-19 has normalized remote work, but what does this mean. Will we ever go back into the office? This may be an opportunity for us to maintain the best parts of an office workspace while allowing ourselves the luxury of doing our jobs under our own roof. "Companies have discovered that both remote work and trusting their employees is not only possible, but in many cases more profitable." (BBC.com)
I guess we are left with the question, has the Coronavirus pandemic changed the world of work forever?