Overnight, millions of jobs became remote due to the pandemic. Once considered a luxury perk by employers and employees, telecommuting or “working from home” has now become our nation’s saving grace- playing a critical role in helping to preserve some segments of the national economy.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about one-third of the American workforce is working from home due to the virus outbreak. Although telecommuting technology has been around for many years, COVID-19 has forced more and more employees to work remotely.
Now that the lockdown measures have illuminated the value of workplace flexibility, the stigma associated with working from home prior to coronavirus has largely disappeared. But not everything is positive- Economists at the University of Chicago have estimated that only 37% of jobs in the United States can be performed entirely at home. In addition, a recent survey by the Society of Human Resource Management has found that over 70% of employers report struggles with adjusting to remote work, with workers finding the biggest challenge to be 'unplugging' from work.
Before the pandemic, the widespread availability of telework technology and the practicality of working remotely for many workers was not a selling point for most employers. COVID-19 has since strong-armed the issue, but how do employees feel about permanent virtual home-office life moving forward?
Zeeto set out to learn what workers think in a poll that surveyed whether or not they would continue to work from home if given the choice by their employer once restrictions are lifted:
Of those given the choice to continue to work remotely after social distancing restrictions are lifted, nearly 6 out of 10 workers prefer to work from home. 31% prefer to return to office life, while 43% prefer to continue to work from home, and 27% of the polled American workers do not have the option to work remotely.
The potential costs and potential benefits of working from home can be both rewarding and stressful depending on the nature of the work and demand for productivity. Balancing work and life will be the biggest challenge workers will continue to face as the workforce continues to adapt to this era of social distancing in the workplace. One thing is certain, COVID-19 has seen to it that there will be no return to “business as usual”.
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