With the increasing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and more people signing up for this post-Vaxx life every day, we’re finally getting real plans made for what we only dreamed of a few months ago: the life after the Pandemic.
For many people, the biggest change to normal is a return to the office. In the flesh.
But can we just go back?
Those of us who were To work from home Evangelists saw the writing on the wall for a while as soon as companies sent workers home last spring. We figured it would be difficult to convince employees to return to the office five days a week once they had tasted the sweet life away.
And we were right. While only 20% of employees whose work can be done remotely worked from home prior to the coronavirus pandemic, 54% said they would like to work from home after the COVID wore off. according to the Pew Research Center.
Should you work from home after COVID?
Your pandemic experience may not be the best measure of whether you should work from home in the long term. This forced experiment was fraught with additional challenges and complications that you normally don’t face.
If you’re new to this and want to find out if you’re looking for a long-term work-from-home agreement, here is the ultimate guide to find out.
Pros and cons of working from home
- No commuting: The environmental benefits of having fewer people on the road in 2020 have been strong. (Has anyone else seen “The Year The Earth Changed”?) Eliminating your commute can also mean sleeping longer, spending more time with family, less risk of accidents, less wear and tear on your car, and the gasoline bill is much cheaper.
- Accessibility: Offices can be filled with landmines for people with disabilities or mental illnesses. Working from home can come with convenience and comfort not available in an office, so everyone can do their best job.
- More focus for deep work: Opposite to popular mythsis an employee as a rule More productive work from home, no less. You have fewer opportunities for distractions like cake in the break room, comments from colleagues or team members dropping in with “just a quick question” while you focus on preparing your monthly report.
- More time with family and pets: When you stop commuting and being home during your lunch break, you can make space on your day to pick up kids from school, walk the dog, petting the cat (or whatever cat is appealing to), and that Start dinner at a convenient time.
- No dress code: It only took us three hours of quarantine to become a full sweatpants nation. No honest people feel more comfortable in tough pants and wouldn’t it be a blessing for your work day if you felt good in your body?
- Efficient meetings: Barring technical difficulties, which hopefully you’ve overcome by now, virtual meetings tend to be more efficient than face-to-face meetings because they all go away when they’re done. People don’t stay in a zoom room after the early end of a meeting and walk until the next meeting to tell the story of their latest home decor debacle.
- Work-life flexibility: Use the longer time for more in-depth work and you can usually find pockets throughout the day for things that you cannot do in the office, e.g. B. washing clothes, washing dishes, exercising or going for a walk.
- Avoid office germs: We’re all staying at home to avoid COVID-19, but don’t forget how seasonal colds and stomach ailments made their way through the office and your family every few months. Avoiding employees who insist it is only allergies can prevent illness and lost work time.
- More cooking at home: research from PR and marketing consultancy Hunter says 71% of people who cooked more during the pandemic plan to keep them going through life after COVID. If you work from home, you can stick to this plan by staying home for breakfast and lunch and avoiding the commute that could make it difficult to get home in time to do more than a simple dinner Cook.
- Less coincidence: Spontaneous conversations in the break room or between desk capsules can lead to new ideas or innovations for a company. These are harder to achieve with virtual meetings.
- Neglect of team members: You may find that some employees go missing while working remotely. That could mean that they are focused and self-motivated – or that they don’t participate as much when their comings and goings aren’t visible to the entire team. Also, when you’re in a leadership role, you may inadvertently pay less attention to some distant team members than to others, which could hurt the entire team.
- No water cooler or elevator chat: Some employees hate talking to water coolers, others make a living from it. These brief moments are a way to get to know employees beyond their work and have human conversations that you are less likely to have via chat apps or in virtual meetings.
- Collaboration challenges: Sometimes you just want someone to sit next to you and show on your screen exactly how to get what you need for a task. Personally, of course, we are equipped with the tools we need to do this, but remotely you have to get used to virtual tools and get everyone on board to make this possible.
- Technical difficulties: We’ve all heard (or experienced firsthand) the stories – the “I didn’t know I was muted” people and the “Oops, my husband just got out of the shower in my zoom frame” mishaps. Differing internet connections between employees can also affect communication, collaboration, and productivity.
- Mixed signals: Our brain benefits from environmental features that tell us where to focus. Your desk and work area in the office can cause your brain to focus more clearly on work. There are no built-in triggers for time to work at home. This is one reason why some people are distracted to work from home.
- No reason to leave the house: How much we all dislike spending endless days in our own four walls is not that most important lesson of 2020, but there is one to consider. Jobs are a way to leave the house and experience varied landscapes and ideas. Without that incentive, it’s easy to look up and see that you were in the same spot on your couch and haven’t spoken to anyone but your cat in days.
Precaution: You can find ways to mitigate all of these drawbacks and gain office-like benefits as a remote worker. However, your company and culture need to be on board so this can turn out to be real obstacles for some employees.
Working from home is great for …
- Parents and people with pets who want flexibility during typical work hours.
- Commuters who live far from work, especially in climates with severe weather.
- Knowledge workers and creatives who need time to do thorough work, process information and create their work.
- Anyone who prefers sweatpants and leggings to pant suits and ties.
- Night owls who can benefit from an additional 30 minutes of sleep in the morning and the flexibility to work well into the evening.
- Introverts who like asynchronous conversations that give time to think and process before replying.
- Immunocompromised people or workers who live with them.
Working from home is not good for …
- Very collaborative teams that rely on spontaneous communication.
- Rural businesses where many team members do not have access to affordable, reliable, and fast internet.
- Parents, couples, or people with roommates who struggle with distractions from other people in the household during the workday.
Answer these questions about your remote work experience
Any of the above factors could convince you that you will or will not be working from home for the long term. Every situation is unique.
Answer the following questions to find out what works best for your circumstances:
- How is your internet connection? Depending on the nature of your job, you can get along with slow internetHowever, you need to answer this question to make sure you plan ahead before going all-in from home.
- What do you miss about the office environment? Do coincidence, the hustle and bustle, and the routines of the office help you do your best work – or do you just need a way to get out of the house every day?
- How does working from home affect your schedule? Cutting down your morning routine and commuting time, finding flexibility to work early in the morning or late at night, and working in time for exercise and cooking later in the day can change your daily life drastically. Would you like to stick with this change?
- How (and why) has your productivity changed during the pandemic? Many workers, especially working mothers, have struggled to keep up with childcare, homeschooling, and working from home at the same time during the pandemic. But what would your home life be like if the kids were in daycare or at school? Related: Could you muster a little more creativity when you are no longer confronted with pandemic stress?
- What tools do you need to do your best job? Do you have access to everything you need to be able to work successfully from home? Didn’t you have to go without anything in the past year – and can you get it if you want to work from home after COVID?
Here’s how to ask your boss about work from home
To learn how to work from home after COVID if you’ve chosen to work from home, follow these tips:
- Make sure you understand what you are asking for – Would you like to work at home just a few days a week or all day? Trying to skip a commute or be home with kids?
- Understand the company’s priorities and how you can design your request to support it.
- Prepare a report on your performance to show how productive you have been since the company was removed.
- To explain how the company benefits from itwhen employees work from home.
- Anticipating problems, aAnd come armed with possible solutions.
- Propose a transition plan Learn how working from home can impact your team and the tools you need to be successful.
If you find yourself in a company that is unwilling or unable to do long-term remote work, you may be ready to look for another job. Check out these work-from-home companies support remote work with or without a pandemic.
Is It Right For You To Work From Home?
I may be a remote working evangelist, but I cannot tell if working from home is the right choice for your circumstances.
Look at your experiences from last year – but with a grain of salt. What did you like about working from home? What have you been struggling with – and do you expect this to be a problem after the pandemic?
The decision to work from home could change your life, for better or for worse. So don’t take it too easy. Make sure that you’re not just motivated by your newfound love affair with sweatpants.
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) has been writing and editing on personal finance, careers, and digital media since 2011.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com