Our environment has changed significantly in the last two years due to the pandemic, but it has also led us to new opportunities that will help us thrive.
With the new normal of Work from Home or better known to us as WFH staying the de-facto norm for the last 2 years, people have not only adjusted to this work environment but have started preferring it over the pre-pandemic work-from-office mode.
Speaking about the WFH opportunities, the culture of remote working has existed since the pre-pandemic era. In a study conducted in March 2013 by the Department of Economics, Stanford University, found a 13 percent increase in productivity among remotely working call-center employees at a Chinese travel agency. While Professor Nicholas Bloom had not been quite sure back then about the miniscule increase, with the fast forward to 2020, when WFH became a compulsion, even he had to accept the boost on productivity. “Working from home under the pandemic has been far more productive than I or pretty much anyone else predicted,” Bloom says.
To back up his views, and augment the previously held report, in May 2020, Jose Maria Barrero of the Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology, Bloom, and Steven J. Davis of Chicago Booth initiated a monthly survey of US workers, following over 30,000 workers aged 20 to 64 who earned at least $20,000 per year in 2019.
They discovered that nearly six out of ten workers were more productive working from home than they anticipated, compared to 14% who indicated they got less done. The average productivity of responders at home was 7% higher than projected. Forty percent of workers reported they were more productive at home during the pandemic than they had been when in the office, and only 15 percent said the opposite was true.
So what’s exactly is driving this productivity? Is it the saving from the commute time, or the ease of being able to meet deadlines from the comfort of your home and your home clothes?
All report put together, the reason that will point at is the work-life balance.
Being away from home, many didn’t have the flexibility to complete the chores during those free minutes. That has become a reality. On the flip side, the loss of a distraction free environment provided by the office space has a made a majority of Indian push for the end of WHF practice. [Ref: https://trak.in/tags/business/2021/11/01/50-indian-it-employees-demand-work-from-home-to-end-60-firms-ready-to-start-office/]
As the question of coming back to our “old normal” creates contradictory opinions, the topic has boiled down to an individual level. With the taste of both worlds, it solely resides on the person and the employer to decide on the work location.