The Debate Over Working From Home Rages On

During the dawn of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses worldwide scrambled to find ways to bring the office to the employees so that revenue didn’t stagger to a halt. Thus began the great movement to the remote workplace, a new job location where the commute is only a few steps away from the bed, and the break room always has a stocked fridge. Telecommuting was not a wholly foreign subject pre-covid, but it certainly wasn’t nearly as common. Nowadays, it is hard to find anyone who hasn’t become completely smitten with their new work environment. However, there has been an upsurge of companies calling for their employees to come back to the office.

Many of those living the remote lifestyle are against this shift back into the corporate office. In fact, according to multiple polls, upwards of 70% of the remote workforce is demanding to stay remote. One poll conducted by Advanced Workplace Associates found that only 3% of white-collar workers want to return to their commercial offices. Many cite that working from home increases productivity by providing a comfortable work environment and a more balanced work-life by saving time on an early commute or rush hour traffic. Other benefits of working from home are saving gas money for their commute and purchasing lunch out. Cars stay parked, and lunch breaks can be spent at home in the kitchen. Remote workers report that the time saved by the absence of a morning commute has led to more time spent in the gym and living a healthier lifestyle. The overall consensus from remote workers is that the home office allows them more freedom while still retaining their productivity.

As companies actively recall their workers to the office, employers argue that online workspaces detract from team-like settings and the business’s identity. Some also claim that management cannot effectively oversee their teams. It is more difficult to observe when someone slacks off in their home office than at a traditional office. There is also an argument that companies want employees back in the office because the rent they are paying for their large offices is effectively going to waste since employees are not utilizing the space.

Currently, it is difficult to predict what is in store for the workforce in the upcoming months. However, it is undeniable that the prevalence and convenience of the remote workplace have shown their hand and have made a convincing argument on why it should be integrated as the new norm for years to come. These past two years have ushered in immense change to the job structure of the world, and it is not hard to believe that remote or hybrid jobs could make up a bulk of the careers across the world moving forward.