Remote Work Is a New Lifestyle – And a Huge Blessing

There are now three times as many remote jobs as there were in 2020. Companies are pushing more people to return to the office as the pandemic death toll lessens, recent studies show that three quarters of all workers are happier working remotely.

And it's not for the reasons you might expect – 50% said they'd willingly take a pay cut to work remotely all the time. Other studies indicate that those who work from home are more productive than the folks in the office.

Remote work was around before the pandemic, but now for employees worldwide, it has become the new norm. Since workers adapted to the situation, they found it to be a better lifestyle than working in the office. According to the Pew Research Center, 60% of workers want to work from home all the time.

Not Just For Quarantine Conditions

Business Response Survey found that “telework accounted for about 50 percent of paid work hours between April and December 2020, compared with 5 percent before the pandemic.”

Very quickly, it was normal to have a home office, and in-person meetings became Zoom calls, e-mails or phone conferences. Offices everywhere had to adopt new practices for both working and connecting with clients.

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Why Remote Work Is a Blessing

Employers and managers might have been concerned that remote work would have a negative impact if employees were unsupervised since there are a lot of distractions at home. However, employees and employers soon realized there were benefits to working from home.

Work-Life Balance

After working from home for months, some people can have a work-life balance due to their flexible schedules. Without the commute to and from work, life did seem easier. People didn’t have to get up early to commute and beat the traffic. They have more time to get the kids ready for school, and they can plan their activities after work. With more time in a day, people have more time to do everything.

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Increased Productivity

For some working from home was a welcome respite. There were fewer distractions and fewer interruptions for meetings or chatty employees – often leading to higher efficiency and productivity. Lunch and coffee breaks may not have been as long when the kitchen is only a minute away.

Working from home allowed employees more flexibility in their day. They could start work sooner. They might put more hours in on some days so they could finish earlier on Friday. Most managers were happy as long as deadlines were met. Though some tried, most didn’t micro-manage their employees’ hours.

An Owl Labs State of Remote Work 2021 Report noted that they “learned productivity didn’t suffer, with 90% of respondents that worked from home during the pandemic saying they were as productive working remotely compared to the office.”

Saving Money

With most employees at home, there was no need to rent a big office. Neither employees or employers had to worry about fluctuating gas prices. Employees have extra monthly money for bills, groceries, and other miscellaneous things, as well as paying off more debt.

Sweatpants and t-shirts became the new uniform for employees. One employee commented to a Washington Post reporter, “I can focus on my work, on my skill development. It’s just about my work [not] what I’m wearing or how I did my hair.”

Happy Employees & Employers

Employees who see their employer improving their life, through work-from-home arrangements, tend to remain more loyal. There's no need to jump ship if there’s smooth sailing in this employer-employee relationship. Remote work often meant less stress and less risk of burnout. It can be easier to close the laptop and walk away when you're at home.

Employers can also enjoy the benefits if they get to work from home. They are saving money; enjoying a better work-life balance – maybe even more so because travel and late meetings are not a daily occurrence. They're happier personally, and from a business standpoint, they're saving on overhead costs, employee sick days, etc.

Returning to the Office Is Getting Serious Pushback

If everything is going so well, will there be a return to the office? In some cases, yes. Some communities may pressure small businesses to support the local economy by bringing workers back to the office. Some employers just think things work better in the office, where they can keep an eye on employees. In 2022, some offices began to migrate to a hybrid model, two days in the office and three days at home or vice-versa.

Pew Research found that “60% of workers with jobs that can be done from home say when the coronavirus outbreak is over, if they have the choice, they’d like to work from home all or most of the time.” The Owl Labs Report noted that “38% said they would be willing to take a 5% pay cut to work remotely at least part of the time.”

When push comes to shove, some employees will look for a new job where full-time remote work is offered.

The Genie Is Out of the Bottle

Once a lifestyle has been changed, there is no turning back. Employees are not seeking work elsewhere because they want a flexible job that gives them less stress and more personal time. They want more in life than commuting and grinding the 9 to 5 at an office. Remote work is indeed the new norm!

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The article was produced by The Money Dreamer and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Cindy started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, so she decided to venture out. She took action and decided to learn how to save, budget, and invest while helping others along the way.