Did COVID-19 Help Companies Realize Working From Home Is Viable?
- May 6, 2020
Have you ever heard that sentence — “there goes another meeting that could’ve been an email?” Well, it’s pretty much the same with certain jobs that people can do from home, yet employers still insist on their presence in the office.
It’s unclear as to why these companies insist on having workers spend both their time and money to go to a place that’s in no way different than their own home and do a job that requires no special tools or equipment.
According to recent freelance statistics, 94% of freelancers are happy with their work; making it all the more puzzling as to why companies spend large sums of money on renting or buying office buildings, not to mention the ongoing utility costs.
The global COVID-19 pandemic forced many an employer to let their employees work from home, whether they like it or not. [irp]
Before the crisis, 7% of American workers, or roughly 10 million people, were able to choose whether they would work from home or not. Today, there is still no clear data on how many people are working remotely, but the number is undoubtedly much higher.
Who Is Eligible for Remote Work?
Programmers, marketers, designers, writers — these are all professions where people can work from home; you only need a stable internet connection and a computer.
How many people are we talking about here exactly? Let’s look at the numbers.
There are over 4 million programmers in the US. Around a million marketers. Some 300,000 authors, copywriters, and editors. What about the eCommerce sector? There are 1.3 million companies in the US; 1,335 of these companies employ over 10,000 people. Hence, millions of people may be eligible for remote work.
Of course, not all of them can do their work from home. There are those working in packaging, delivery, and the similar.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Working From Home?
For starters, productivity is one major benefit. Not everyone is capable of remaining focused while there are tens of other employees around them. Constant distractions and other people talking to each other or over the phone make it an impossible working environment for some.
Another thing worth mentioning is having a much better work-life balance. It can be exhausting to travel 5 or 6 days a week to and from work. Overall, fewer commuting times make them considerably happier — and a happy employee is a productive employee.
The latest work from home statistics shows that around 80% of people would like to work from home given the chance. Stats also show that 56% of all employees in the States could do at least some part of their job from home. [irp]
What Are the Downsides of Working From Home?
Some managers prefer having employees under their constant vigilance, yet with a remote workforce, they have no control over what their employees do during working hours; at least, not to the degree that they’re used to.
In addition, remote workers will find it harder to bond with their fellow colleagues due to being so far apart. As a result, they won’t coordinate as well with their co-workers as their on-site counterparts.
Lastly, some people might find the home environment to be more distracting than an office setting, or more isolated (depending on the individual).
All in all, the potential benefits of working from home are very interesting to both employers and the workforce.
After all, it’s the 21st century, and everything’s digitized now. Elon Musk is launching hundreds of new satellites in low orbit, 5G networks are allowing lightning-fast data transfers, and artificial intelligence is reshaping the industry as we know it.
Hopefully, people will realize that remote work is beneficial for everyone involved. Employees will not only work better from the comfort of their own home (or favorite cafe), but also be more relaxed, happier, and content with their company, whereas employers have fewer expenses to worry about. A win-win type of situation indeed.