Working remotely may remain — even post-pandemic


By Michael Panzarella, Staff Writer

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the lives of millions of Americans across the country. As the virus continues to spread, the adjustments Americans have made the past year have changed the way we work and operate.

Indranil Roy, Executive Director of Human Capital says, “More than half of the global workforce is working remotely and as the pandemic continues to threaten health, we are looking at a prolonged period of hybrid working – from home and office in different proportions.”

Working online from home can and will be a part of American work in the continuing future.

More than half of American jobs have been moved remotely or to hybrid work situations. Office jobs are from home, meetings are on zoom calls, and optional hybrid work times have been just a few changes that companies have made. With more work coming from inside homes, are companies seeing any different results or changes from work at home?

According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, 54% of office workers would be willing to quit their job for one that allows them to work remotely. This is the beginning of a shift in the workplace, pandemic or not, that will be the future of American jobs. With 64% of Americans moving from in-person to remote working, Americans are now wanting the option to work from home. That being said, when the pandemic is over, people will continue to work from home.

Aside from what could happen, what is happening in the workplace now has seen both many positives and negatives. According to the same Pew Research, 78% of office workers are reporting greater productivity. Workers now don’t have to travel, can stay home with their children online working, create comfortable work environments, and eat more healthy food options. All of these benefits are reasons remote working will stay. The everyday working class Americans will have more options at home. When it comes to financials as well, this will help keep money in their pockets rather than being spent on gas, fast food, work entities, and more.

With all that being said, the productivity at home cannot be ignored. If workers are seeing better improvements in their work at home, this will benefit all sides. The comfort level and flexibility remote work offers has made it easier to be efficient in working. This also saves companies more. Using less on facilities and more on the company itself will help these jobs grow.

Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, said in an interview, “If we can move past decades of orthodoxy about 9-to-5, office-centric work, there’s an opportunity to retain the best parts of office culture while freeing ourselves from bad habits and inefficient processes, from ineffective meetings to unnecessary bureaucracy. Every leader believes they can do better, and things can move faster: this is their chance.”

We could see a culture shift in America, where office jobs become fully remote. The negative connotations that always come around a 9-to-5 job can be seen differently as they go fully remote.

When asked about remote learning, TalentLyft quoted over 30 people on how they see the pandemic going from a work perspective. One person said, “Hopefully, as companies give more attention to the importance of work-life balance, more and more people will be in a better position to decide and act more holistically on what’s important to them.” The work-balance will be a big vocal point to people as jobs and work continues to stay remote.

Though we’ve seen many positives from remote working that will be continued and implemented post pandemic, there have been some negatives to remote working, along with remote schooling for students of all ages. State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey of Birmingham, Alabama, said, “We do believe that grades are going down in many districts. Especially in districts that are almost all remote or full remote.”

Students who are in the midst of remote learning have seen changes in grades, mood, and immunity. Students in K-12 public schools have seen a dip in performances. Overall GPA and test scores have also seen a dip. When it comes to students in this age group, students have been getting more updates on mental health. That has been one positive, more check-ups and communication tools have been implemented for students going through tough times during the pandemic.

With test scores going down in areas with full remote restrictions, this is one of the down sides we’ve seen during the pandemic. Remote learning won’t have the same momentum push remote working will post pandemic, as many Americans want to put their children back in school when it’s safe to do so.

Though there have been many issues throughout the pandemic, there are still some good things to take out of it. Seeing that Americans are happy to work from home makes the case for this to continue. The work and balance that it offers is something families will consider in a hiring process.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in demand for remote work on our platform, one that will have a significant long-term impact on the labour market. Globally, we’re seeing four times the number of jobs that offer remote work since March,” Karin Kimbrough, Chief Economist of LinkedIn suggests. “We also see that trend reflected from jobseekers: the volume of job searches using the ‘Remote’ filter on LinkedIn has increased 60% since the beginning of March, and the share of Remote Job Applications has increased nearly 2.5 times globally from March.”

Regardless of how jobs will be seen after the pandemic, we do know a lot of things to both take in and take out of it. The studies and reports show that work could continue to stay remote or hybrid and schooling will go back to in-person. There are a lot of variables that will take place in the next few years as the pandemic continues. Many doctors and officials will have to clear a lot of working and schooling jobs to be safe and companies will have to make decisions on remote versus in-person.