The spread of the coronavirus has led to a wider scale dry run of an idea that has been toyed with for decades – the idea of working from home has long been something thought of that could improve productivity and employee happiness – cutting out the long commute that many of us have, increasing flexibility in working ability, and other thoughts such as improving productivity. Initial results from a relatively short period of time has shown that it can be a successful change for many in a position where it is a possibility – there haven’t been any widespread reports in reductions to productivity, but this is something that could change over time with a bigger amount of data available.
The support is also there from employees too – in a survey conducted by IBM which polled 25,000 American adults revealed that 54% would like to work from home on a permanent basis, with 75% stating they’d like to do it occasionally. Similar results are being seen in surveys in other parts of the world as many lean toward working from home as a nice change – but there are concerns around whether many business infrastructures could handle a large scale change over to a remote workforce.
We may be approaching a time where decisions need to be made – states within the US are starting to ease lockdown measures and countries across Europe are doing the same, as many of us prepare to head back to work on a full schedule, there may be calls to institute a working from home scheme, even if only on a temporary or limited basis – as more data comes through around the past few months it may be more clear that there are direct benefits that come with working from home too.
There have been challenges faced by many of us whilst working from home – distractions are ready at every turn, without a watchful eye over our shoulder many of us have turned a short break into something a little longer as our attention gets pulled to one side – this is evident by the sharp increase in traffic to streaming services such as Netflix, mobile gaming particularly within gambling as these casinos are not with gamstop, and even in areas that may not be so apparent such as the huge increase in book sales during this same period of time – a short break may be to quickly flick through a few pages, and before you know if you’ve read an entire chapter.
Perhaps the first real attempt in this direction could be seen within New Zealand – the prime minister has already laid out plans for a four day work week encouraging remote working as an opportunity to provide a kickstart to the NZ economy and so there may be some delay from businesses owners across the world whilst they wait to see the outcome of that experiment – but as a whole, remote working has been successful from an initial look and there has been a huge demand for it to remain – whether or not it will, however, is yet to be seen.