I can’t think of anything that would’ve ignited the work-from-home movement quite like the pandemic did. After all, the origins of a modern remote work movement were slow, dating back to the 1980s when telecommunications were on the rise and some companies were testing out the waters.
In the ’90s, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the General Services Administration began a large telecommunications experiment to “assess the benefits and challenges of allowing employees to work at locations other than their government office base.”
These non-office work locations weren’t called work-from-home but rather “flexiplaces.” And the benefits of working in these flexiplaces?
The department reported higher productivity, lower costs, and reduced need for office space. Each time this experiment was run, in every city, in every country, in every decade, the same results have resulted. Over, and over, and over again. Offline work was costly for many companies, and they loved the switch to remote work. Remote work does not cost much to the companies. It reduces the need for offices and bills related to it.
Bloomberg says the work-from-home boom will lift productivity in the U.S. economy by 5%, mostly due to savings in commuting time.
CapRelo, a work relocation company, found that over 75% of respondents felt more productive working from home.
ConnectedSolutions says 77% of those who work remotely at least a few times per month show increased productivity, with 30% doing more work in less time.
And the list goes on.
So why did we, just before the pearly gates of hell seemed to open last year, commute a national average of 26 minutes to work every day? Sit in a cubicle miles away from home performing the same tasks we now complete on our laptops?
In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for a remote work movement that has been gaining momentum for decades. Of course, there were some remote job postings before last March, but it was more than typical to have a mandatory five-day in-office work week.
The pandemic has snatched jobs from millions of Americans. It has made many Americans live under the line of poverty. However, after the vaccination campaign, the situation has improved overall. Employees from all over America are working hard to get back on track. More and more companies are offering remote work to their employees. This was tough for not only the companies but also for the employees themselves.
In a positive way, both women and men work equally from home and make their livelihood from the remote work. This is the only option for a better future.
As employees, we simply didn’t know better. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the General Services Administration certainly did, but we were influenced to believe office life was the only choice.
Numerous studies have come out over the last year that paint a picture, in big, bright strokes, that says ‘we are more productive at home, we are more happy at home, we have more quality in our lives at home.’
Despite the many surveys and studies on increased productivity, several employees are faced with returning to the office this summer or fall. In fact, some employers are actually going back to the full five-day office week, despite push back from their workers.
Ford Motors, IBM, and JPMorgan Chase have recently announced that they will be adopting a hybrid sort of work model. JPMorgan Chase told their employees that the five-day office workweek is “a relic.”
But not all large corporations agree. For example, Wells Fargo put out a memo that employees will be returning to the office this September.
But how will employees react to going back to the office full time? Many are resistant, and 63% say the ability to work from home will influence their future employment decisions.
While the catalyst, this pandemic, is surely coming to an end in the United States, the reaction cannot be halted. So it’s time for a permanent work-from-home model.
Pandemic was tough. It was tough for day-to-day earners. But, it changed the lives of millions of people all around the world. This abrupt change forced humanity to adopt new methods to earn a living.
This proved to be a blessing in disguise for a lot of companies and people. It has increased productivity all over the world. Women and men are getting equal chances in online jobs. The overall situation for business is much better than a year ago. The situation is getting regular, and business owners are back to track in America. The days are not far when over 40% of work will be done online, even after the pandemic. Thank you for reading the article.
Featured Photo by Israel Andrade on Unsplash