Pattie Lovett-Reid: Is working from home working for you?
A woman is working from home in this image. (Pexels)
TORONTO -- Looking back, I used to long for the opportunity to work from home but always self-eliminated those positions due to the type of job I had. Well, that was then and this is now, and I realize for many -- who like me -- once thought it impossible, now find themselves working from home.
However, just because you can now doesn't mean you like it. I reached out to my followers on Instagram and asked how they have been adapting in today's environment. The responses, some of which are paraphrased, were mixed:
- Laura: I'm just grateful to be working – anywhere.
- Linda: Working with my partner in a one-bedroom apartment is tricky.
- Chris: Finally management has bought into the concept of work from home. Happy, even if it took a pandemic to shift views.
- Lorie: My company has been super supportive and we are at home until at least Jan. 31st.
While many are thriving. others are struggling:
- KP: Can't wait to get back to work.
- Cat: I miss the whole routine of working outside the home, face chats, brainstorming etc.
- Sandy: The days are long.
- Marcia: Love working from home but technology is challenging.
My son, Dave, also weighed in, pointing out there are both pros and cons. Adapting to technology, lack of personal connection, and isolation can be negatives. However, it does allow safe communication during a pandemic, while teams are still able to chat, and it provides more flexibility in managing your day-to-day life.
What it appears to come down to for many is your job and your personality. And how you feel could change from day to day. Some days you might feel incredibly positive and other days find working from home unbearable.
As we continue to deal with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, optimism mounts as a potential vaccine is on the horizon. The challenge we have is that we don't have it yet.
It’s been more than seven months and many of us have abruptly shifted from workplace offices to home offices. And even today, while it’s a little clearer, we are still uncertain of what our new normal may look like and the long-term side effects the pandemic will have.
While we are in the midst of a pandemic, people have embraced the work-from-home concept. However, when we do come out the other side of this pandemic, a lot will have changed and we might just have a need for a more balanced approach. The need to return to the office full-time could be a thing of the past while tethering to a location might be the new norm.
You may work from home for part of your workweek and only head back into the office part-time or when required. Of course, once again, that depends on the type of job you have.
Balance seems to be the word of choice when describing work life on the horizon.
A new study by global staffing firm Robert Half found employees feel like they are working around the clock from home. More than half (55 per cent) who transitioned to a remote setup said they work on the weekend and 34 per cent reported they regularly put in more than eight hours a day.
So where does this leave us?
The war for talent doesn't evaporate due to a pandemic and those employers who find a way to support work-life balance in a post-pandemic era will likely come out on top.
The new norm will likely be a mixed work environment, flex time possibilities, the potential for compressed workweeks, and job sharing.
One thing is for certain, employers and employees have to get aligned on what the new normal and safe workspace will look like. And the really good news? The clock is ticking, as we get closer to a vaccine.