The start of the coronavirus pandemic forced thousands of people and businesses to rethink their ability to operate in an online environment. It posed challenges for parents having to work from home while simultaneously helping their children with remote learning, for individuals living by themselves and feeling isolated, and for those who just entering the workforce and struggling to get accustomed to life in the professional world, among many others.
Now, after more than a year of this unprecedented time as we inch closer to a sense of normalcy, some companies are beginning to open up their offices once again. However, many employees may feel as though the pandemic has shown the world that there really is no need for them to physically be in the office in order to be productive, successful employees. If anything, it has shown that working from home might actually be better.
Here are some reasons why working from home may become more common after the pandemic:
One of the most obvious benefits of working from home is the lack of a commute. Prior to the pandemic, some employees would travel anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to get to work. Now, this lack of a commute is saving employees both time and money. Rather than worrying about rushing around in the morning, they can spend more time relaxing and getting a good, slow start to their work day. Additionally, cutting down on commuting is not only beneficial for the environment but also reduces traffic congestion for those who have no other choice but to commute for work.
For most people, their home is the place where they are the most comfortable. With that being said, it is no wonder that many employees would prefer to work from home. Compared to the office, where they are constantly being monitored by their bosses and facing distractions from coworkers, there is less pressure at home and increased productivity as they no longer have to deal with the unnecessary stress an office creates.
Working from home also provides a greater sense of flexibility. While employees are still expected to follow regular work hours and stick to their deadlines, they are able to work at their own pace. They can build a more concrete schedule around their work day as they no longer have to factor in the uncertainty of leaving the office and commuting home. Additionally, when it comes to breaks or off-hours, employees are able to actually go out and do something worthwhile, such as going for a walk or cooking a good meal for themselves.
Spending time with loved ones
After having spent over a year surrounded by our families, a lot of people have come to realize just how much time commuting and being at the office takes away from them. When all is said and done, many employees are lucky to be able to spend just a few hours with their families at the end of the day. Now, people are able to see their families more than they ever have before. This is especially beneficial for those with children, specifically those whose children are too young to attend school. Not only are these individuals saving money on childcare while working from home but they are also able to be around much more often and be there for every step of the way.
At this point in time, it’s hard to say if working from home will become the norm in the professional world. But, after being forced to adjust and seeing that a successful workflow can continue in this type of environment, employees are experiencing the benefits of this new lifestyle. Companies may be insistent upon people returning to the office. But, when making decisions such as these, they should keep in mind the events of the past year, weigh whether returning will be the right decision for their employees, and be understanding of those who might struggle with the transition.