Is Remote Work the Future?
Remote work has taken the world by force since the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March and April 2020. A combination of living in quarantine, being afraid of catching COVID-19, and getting used to a new normal that includes little in-person social interactions has raised questions about what the world will look like in 6-months, a year and beyond.
Today, however, with almost half of American adults vaccinated (and many more immune due to having already had contracted the virus), companies are re-opening their offices and asking employees to come back. Many employees, however, have a different opinion. They like being able to work from home, saving time and money on commutes and achieving a better work-life balance. Consulting, investment banking, and law firms have all started to re-open their offices. They have started offering bonuses to those employees who come to the office, but to no avail–people are starting to value work-life balance over the financial benefits. Even so, employees have been favoring work-from-home (WFH) or work-from-anywhere (WFX). Remote work may be the future.
While in-office work is sometimes necessary, sometimes fun, that may not be the case in the future. Even client meetings, which used to be almost exclusively in-person, can be done over Zoom, Teams, or some other conferencing application. Moreover, as many universities students graduate having taken the last three semesters of under- or post-graduate work, employees will be more and more able to handle remote meetings and less able to handle in-person client work as they become more accustomed to the work-from-home environment and less-inclined to want to be locked up in an office. They may even refuse to work for a company that will require regular in-office work. Business travel might also be extinct with this new work model.
While most offices will eventually re-open, with many having re-opened, remote work could still be a major part of the post-COVID new normal.