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Working From Home: For Covid or Forever?

Working from the comfort of your own bed: yay or nay?

Credit: Cottonbro / Pexels

The pandemic has forced a lot of us to reconsider the ways in which we carry out our daily lives, and the workforce is no different. With so many companies shifting their focus to remote working, one has to wonder if things will ever go back to our pre-pandemic status quo.

The number of people working from home has reached a record high since the start of the pandemic, with 45% of adults surveyed working remotely as of January 2021.

This uptick in remote work has brought the necessity of in-person office work altogether into question, with the new, home-based method meeting garnering some popularity amongst both workers and employers alike.

Alison Green, staff consultant, writes for Vice

“Once pandemic restrictions ease it’s likely that many employers will be more open to remote work than they have been in the past.”

However, Green warns that the solution may not be as simple as it seems, particularly for those of us hoping to work from a separate country or state from your original workplace, with hurdles such as new taxes and labour laws to grapple with.

That being said, many have found the move to working from home has taken a toll on their mental health.

A recent study found that 80% of workers asked felt the shift to remote work has negatively impacted their mental wellbeing, with over a third citing the physical disconnect from colleagues as an isolating root cause.

The most likely outcome of all of this?

Experts have noted the likelihood of a ‘hybrid’ model of work taking place following the events of the pandemic- whenever that may be. Newfound workplace expectations have permeated through public consciousness, making a complete regression to the mean unlikely. 

Steward Butterfield, CEO and co-founder of slack, noted

“From the employee perspective, the shift is massive and very consequential: people are making new choices about where they want to live and creating new expectations about flexibility, working conditions and life balance that can’t be undone.”

Could this be one of the precious few silver linings to come out of this past year-and-counting? I’ll take my wins where I can get them.

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