Josh Wardini 2m 445 #covid19
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
COVID-19 will not only change the face of the global economy but also the way in which companies around the world do business and treat their employees.
Before the crisis, merely 3.6% of US workers worked part-time or more from the comfort of their own homes. That’s roughly 5 million people.
Once the pandemic broke out, people were forced to stay indoors and were required to work strictly from home. Of course, not everyone was capable of such a thing.
Many of those employed in the manufacturing, transport, and retail industries (among others) found themselves between a pandemic and a hard place. They either lost their jobs or had to go straight to the frontlines and risk getting infected. Moreover, for the latter, there was also the real possibility of taking the disease back home to their families and loved ones.
In 2019, there were 130.6 million people employed as full-time workers. Come 2020 and tens of millions of these employees were forced to stay at home and continue working under strict quarantine conditions. Hence, a lot of people who only dreamed of working remotely (while their favorite tune plays on their loudspeakers in the background) finally got their chance.
Conversely, employers ensured that business went on as usual. The only thing that was missing was the environment of constant pressure and anxiety back in the office building, as well as the 9 o’clock morning traffic jam.
As a result, everything is a lot quieter in these new home offices and there’s a lot less road rage going on in the streets. Moreover, daily tasks are completed much (much) faster, better, and with a lot more enthusiasm. Overall, employees seem more motivated and productive than ever before.
So, the question remains: once the crisis comes to a close, will managers and business owners get everyone straight back to the office again, or will they learn from this experience and implement some new changes?
After all, their expenses are much lower this way (no need for costly rent, expensive office equipment, etc.) and the latest boom in employee productivity is nothing to sneeze at.
At the same time, most employees are also happy with how things are at the moment. The percentage of employers employing remote workers rose by 40% in the last 5 years. Work from home statistics have confirmed high levels of both satisfaction and productivity. The employed get a much better work-life balance and are able to spend more time at home with their families. It’s a win-win kind of situation, so why change anything?
In fact, it may turn out that the COVID-19 pandemic helped highlight the true potential of remote work, teaching us an important lesson the hard way.