Is Working From Home Actually Working?
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, most jobs moved online and people began to work from home. As a result, many employers gave their employees funds to set up a home office. Twitter and Shopify were amongst the first companies to do so in March 2020.
Many people have enjoyed and are productive working from home, with a whopping 54% of people claiming they want to continue working from home after the pandemic ends. This won’t be an issue considering that over 85% of those working from home have adequate equipment to do so. Furthermore, one study suggests that by the year 2025, 22% of the American workforce will be remote. This is an 87% increase of workers working at home compared to pre-COVID-19 numbers.
Because many employees are opting to remain remote as different pandemic variants emerge, companies aren’t forcing employees to return to the office. In fact, some companies are giving employees additional stipends for home offices, with Apple being one such example. The company recently announced that it does not have a return to office date set, and is therefore giving employees a $1,000 stipend to furnish their home offices.
Despite the incentives, not all employees are thrilled with the idea of remote work. The New York Times explained that while working from home gives people more flexibility and allows them to save money because they are not commuting, it can be difficult for employees to meet over Zoom when dealing with background distractions at home. Women in particular have found it difficult to get a word in during meetings dominated by men, and there is a lack of creativity and problem solving in general since employees cannot discuss new ideas as easily as they could in the office. Although remote work allows employees to save time without spending long hours commuting, they now are working longer hours from home.
Interestingly, PWC recently released an article noting that 83% of employers say the shift to remote work is successful in their companies, and that people prefer to work from home. It may be worthwhile for firms to ensure their employees have the necessary ability and equipment to work from home even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo Caption: A home office
Photo Credit: Pixabay