Workplace culture has been turned upside down in a few short months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many people in personal service jobs lost their work altogether, a large number of office jobs transferred their business to work-from-home. This has been a seismic shift in the way that much office work is done, and is reflective of a changing world.
How long might this new paradigm be in place? Is this a temporary blip, and things will return to normal when the virus is gone? Or is this just the way things are going to be, with or without a virus? Let’s take a closer look.
Working Remotely Was Inevitable
In some professions, working remotely had already become rather normalized by the time COVID hit. Writers, programmers and countless other professionals were able to complete their jobs just fine from home.
Video conferencing had also already become normal in the workplace, just due to the expenses of travel.Why fly an employee out for a meeting when they could just conference in? That’s the easiest way to keep everyone on the same page.
In many offices, there are actually few needs for an actual space. The office, as we know it today, is more of an artifact of a different time than a necessity for workflow.
This is to say, working remotely was sure to become the norm in jobs that could support it eventually. If a job can be done over the internet with a computer, it was likely to switch to remote work. The fewer workers in an office building, the less overhead for the company. Besides, many workers love getting to telecommute.
In a sense, COVID may have acted like a final push towards a new paradigm. While many people enjoy working in an office space, others find the space confining. Having the option available for either is great for people of all stripes. What’s more, it could even open up job opportunities for people with disabilities.
Some people aren’t able to easily commute to and from an office job. However, with the new prevalence of telecommuting, those people could find new opportunities. What’s more, many employers may find that workers given the option to choose their working environment are more productive. Studies have shown, time and again, that happier workers are harder workers.
What better way to make an employee happy than to allow them to choose whether they want to work from home or from the office?