Working Remotely May Become the New Norm
For the majority of 2020, the world has faced a global pandemic due to the unprecedented spread of COVID-19. The virus emerged from a food market in Wuhan City, China, before spreading across the world. Over the last few months, COVID-19 continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions worldwide. In an effort to slow this spread and protect citizens, governments all over the world have made difficult yet necessary decisions.
Governments issued stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, which asked residents to remain in their homes, leaving only for essential work or business. These orders banned the gatherings of ten or more people, closed school, gyms, and movie theaters, and temporarily halted a host of different industries. These governments asked businesses to allow their employees to work from home if possible. Even as many parts of the country are slowly reopening, many employees are still working from home.
COVID-19 has shifted how the world functions, but we do not yet know whether this will be temporary or not. Working from home has become the norm for many employees around the world. However, how has COVID-19 changed the future of working from home? Tech Critic continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and its implications moving forward, including working from home.
Americans Working from Home
One of the most common responses to the spread of COVID-19 is the number of Americans working from home. The latest Gallup Panel data shines a light on how many Americans are working remotely. Nearly 62% of employed Americans say they have worked from home during the current COVID-19 crisis.
Even further, three out of five workers who have been working from home stated that they preferred to continue working remotely as much as possible, even after the current pandemic has ended. However, 41% said they wished to return to their office or workplace and continue working as they did before.
Many have seen this period of self-isolation as a chance to experiment with new modes of communication. Video chats have proven to be a reliable and efficient way for employees to stay in direct contact with their coworkers and their employers. More employers have continued to take steps to help their employees work efficiently throughout this pandemic.
However, as more states across the United States begin to reopen, the future of the American workplace may see a seismic shift. Throughout this current global situation, more and more employers have seen how successful working from home is.
Many detractors state that production would take a hit. After all, your home is a place for relaxation and is usually full of more distractions than your office or workplace. However, this might not be the case, after all.
A 2015 study over Chinese call-center employees reported that 13% of workers were more productive than those in a control group, taking fewer breaks and making more calls per minute. Additionally, their happiness was higher, and they were less likely to quit their job.
Many researchers have found that working from home has boosted productivity, improved work/life balance, and improved the mental health of millions of workers. Additionally, remote working has also reduced commuter-caused pollution.
Industries across the world are taking this period as a chance to test how well working from home will go. Not every American can work from home, however. Roughly 60% of American jobs cannot be done from home, which means much of the workforce will indeed go back to an office or workspace, such as grocery store clerks, ER physicians, and more.
Even further, many employees are only working from home out of necessity, not because their employer wants to. Regardless, many industries have realized that their employees can efficiently work remotely, which could signal a potential shift in how businesses operate in the future.
The Future of Working Remotely
Before the current global pandemic, many employers refused to let their coworkers work from home full-time or part-time, and once the situation allows, they may go back to this way of thinking. And as we said earlier, many jobs cannot be done from home. Even though a lot of jobs will return to normal, working from home may become the new norm for many.
Many large corporations are already willing to allow their employees to work from home. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sent out an email in early May, notifying employees that they are allowed to work from home as long as they would like. However, this does not mean that employees cannot come into the office to work. They simply have the option.
Many industries did not believe or know that their employees could work from home as effectively as they have. However, they may not be comfortable letting employees work from home. The idea of “Work from Anywhere” may become more of a popular option many businesses adopt.
While many businesses have seen the success of working remotely, they have not yet figured out all the fixed costs. Once they do, they may finally make that decision. More workers want to continue working from home, and employers will save money on office space.
However, employers also recognize that managing remote workers is much harder than managing those in an office. Furthermore, many employees miss the social aspects of their office and find that they are more productive in that environment.
The future of working from home looks to be a combination of working remotely and working from the office. Employers are not ready to make everyone work in the office or at home, but rather a combination. As the current pandemic progresses, Tech Critic will continue to provide you with useful information and updates.