The nature of work life had been changing, but the COVID pandemic accelerated that change. How we work may never be the same again.
While some companies closed temporarily or permanently, others adapted in ways that may have long-lasting impacts.
Many companies were hesitant to encourage their employees to work from home. There was some concern that productivity would plummet, if workers were at home, where there were innumerable distractions.
However, those fears appeared to have been overblown. Productivity did not take a noticeable hit when employees were forced to work from home, even if they have kids they suddenly needed to provide daycare for. And office space can be quite expensive, so downsizing corporate buildings can have measurable financial benefits.
Even beyond that, quality of life for employees working from home can improve significantly. Commute times drop to zero, and a worker can put in just as many hours at their job, and still have time to devote more time to family. A happy employee is a productive employee.
Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How do you define success?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘Is happiness the most important purpose in life?’
Still, there are concerns that communication between co-workers may suffer. It is also difficult to build a sense of camaraderie between employees who spend little to no time in close proximity.
As government guidelines change, so companies are requiring their workers to go back to the office, while some are not. Even those that go back may find some things have changed in the year and a half since the pandemic started.
What about you? Are there differences in the way you do your work? Are there differences in the way your business or your company thinks about remote work? How has your work life changed?