By Bryan Smilek
Amidst the pandemic, many corporations have shifted to a remote workspace to mitigate the risk of a potential COVID-9 outbreak. As a result, workers have been able to shed the daily commute and accelerate project timelines while logging longer hours. However, some individuals may also feel that they have become less productive due to the heightened amount of distractions found while trying to work at home. Overall, I believe that working at home has benefitted corporations and employees alike for a plethora of reasons, which we will dive into shortly.
Working from home has benefitted employees because they have shed the daily commute. As a result, people can easily roll out of bed, get ready for the day, and hop online earlier than the pre-pandemic days. Thus, employees have more time to allocate towards their work versus having to commute, which also benefits their employer since their workers are online more often. Therefore, projects can be achieved in record times, which benefits the employer and would have been unlikely in normal times when workers would stick to a rigid schedule and maintain a strict daily routine.
However, working from home does pose challenges. For instance, workers combat the distractions of family members and friends throughout the day, which may hinder their productivity. On the other hand, workers would often run into co-workers at a pantry throughout the day or take time to grab an extended lunch, which would likely equate to a similar loss of productivity. Therefore, while COVID-19 has presented employees with distractions, they are merely replacing prior activities detrimental to productivity in the traditional workplace.
Given that the newfound distractions at home merely replace traditional workplace distractions, coupled with workers’ enhanced opportunities to boost productivity, I believe that employers should entitle individuals to maintain the optionality to continue working from home post-pandemic to some degree. If kept, the flexibility will keep employees content, as they can choose whether to work from home or report to the office. Additionally, it will allow individuals working from home to log longer hours and potentially enhance the timeline of multiple projects, as has been the case throughout the pandemic. Finally, keeping a hybrid workplace after the pandemic will ultimately eliminate the need for a daily commute, which can help workers recuperate after logging a long day and log on earlier than pre-pandemic days when they would undergo a rigorous travel to the office. Thus, it is apparent that working from home can benefit employees and employers alike and should be kept after the pandemic!
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