Is working from home here to stay? According to most of the major publications such as Forbes and Bloomberg, it is. Remote work was initially introduced as a way for companies to remain in business while keeping their employees from getting sick, but now it looks like a more permanent change.
It is suggested that remote work will make people more productive and happier because of the increased flexibility. Many employees will consider relocating, as they will no longer be bound to a physical office. They will move to more spaced out and budget-friendly locations; some cities in America are even offering grants and incentives to remote workers to encourage relocation. Remote work also means the employees will no longer be restricted to applying for companies directly in their cities. They can apply for positions in a wider variety of companies.
Companies will also save tons of money as the demand for office spaces decreases and may downsize or even completely close their physical locations. Employers can look for employees from anywhere across the globe. Companies may want employees to be within driving distance of the office for some positions, but they are no longer limited by geography. They could find talented individuals charging way less than they currently pay for their employees.
There are a few downsides to remote work, such as work culture becoming more challenging to establish. It will be harder for companies to instill a sense of loyalty and unity in their employees if they cannot have any face-to-face communication. Another issue is the ability to monitor employee productivity. Can managers trust that their employees are doing what they are supposed to? However, many studies are coming forward to suggest that employees are working even harder and longer hours than they were before.
Of course, many jobs will still require workers to be physically present, such as food-service, brick-and-mortar retail and construction, to name a few. This raises the question of whether remote work favors professional or higher-income occupations? Does it create inequality in unemployment?
There is a psychological effect to working from home. It can often lead to the blurring of the line between work and home. As stated previously, many employees are working harder and longer hours than they were before because they are not sure when it is alright to stop. This can lead to burnout.
However, there are reasons to suggest that these negative effects are only transitional. If more people have the freedom to work from home, they will learn to find a balance between work and life. It would reduce the number of hours wasted in commute and more time will be spent where it matters, leading to a more emotionally happier population.
People can use this extra time to work on projects that they have always wanted, learn new skills, spend time with family and travel (when it is safe to do so). As all this is still relatively new to everyone, companies are always working to adapt and find new ways to keep themselves afloat and their employees happy. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused major damage to the economy and society, but this may have been a push in a healthier direction.