Is Remote Work Here to Stay?
After COVID-19 forced a large portion of the workforce to quickly adapt to a remote working environment, it may be safe to assume that the trend is here to stay. Despite the initial uncertainty, logistical hurdles, and sudden shift to fully rely on video conferencing and online collaboration tools like Zoom, Slack, and Monday.com, the transition to working from home has allowed workers the comfort and flexibility that an office doesn't offer.
As vaccination rates continue to increase, there are some questions up in the air regarding the state of the workforce and how companies are deciding to go forward. Will employers allow their team to continue working remotely? Require coming back to the office full-time? Or adopt a hybrid model of both? If you're finding yourself wanting to continue working remotely post-pandemic, you're not alone.
Millions of those deemed as essential workers may not have such an alternative, but those who do have reaped the benefits and most don't plan on looking back. Depending on your job, boss, and work culture, there are a lot of factors in play as to whether or not companies will adjust their model.
In a study [May 2021] referenced in Bloomberg Wealth, 1,000 U.S. adults were surveyed, revealing that:
“...39% would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The generational difference is clear: Among millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49%, according to the poll by Morning Consult...”
Workers have not only seen the considerable advantages of remote work, but have come to recognize that their jobs can very well be done just as effectively at home. The appeal is largely due to employee values:
"The lack of commutes and cost savings are the top benefits of remote work, according to a FlexJobs survey of 2,100 people released in April. More than a third of the respondents said they save at least $5,000 per year by working remotely."
The shift in work environments may require a change of habits to optimize productivity. If you're lucky enough to have the choice and resources to weigh your options as talk of returning to the office ramps up, consider the pros and cons:
- Better work-life balance: More time to spend with family and friends
- No commute: Saves time and money
- Flexibility: More control over your day and schedule
- Freedom: Not physically bound by the office, bosses, and co-workers
- Fewer office distractions: Chatty co-workers, background noises
- Accountability: Self-discipline is needed to stay on top of tasks
- Lack of teamwork: Poorer sense of connection and company culture
- Motivation: Easy to get bogged down by the comfort of your own home
- Home distractions: Phone, loud neighbors, kids, pets, chores, Netflix
Tips to WFH, Maintain Work-Life Balance, & Optimize Productivity
- Take scheduled breaks: Reduces stress and improves focus
- Communicate with your team: Important to make sure your team is on same page especially when working remote. It also lessens feelings of isolation!
- Manage your time: Stick to a schedule as you would a day in the office, including following a morning routine and setting time limits on tasks
- Prioritize: Get your most important work done earlier in the morning to avoid a midday slump
- Separate work life from personal life: Have set work hours, create boundaries after the end of the work day and outside of the home office
- Practice self-care: Declutter your space, eat healthy snacks, exercise daily
- Get dressed: As tempting as working in your PJs may be, dressing for the day helps put you in the right mindset
- Optimize your home office: Set up a good, designated workspace (comfortable chair, quiet room, optimal lighting, necessary technology & equipment)
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