Working from home reduces stress and carbon footprint
From Seasonedpros.ca Content Lab
There is something of a Cold War going on between workers who like remote and employers who are pressing them back to the office.
The COVID-19 pandemic proved that working from home was possible. Many workers adapted and decided they liked the freedom and flexibility of working from home.
But some employers like Elon Musk’s electronic car maker Tesla, and Apple Corporation are requiring employees back in the office 40 hours per week.
As the world has adjusted to the virus, they are keen to get back to business as usual. These companies want to see and interact with their employees. They want more control over productivity and they are eager to fill rented office space.
Some are even providing incentives like free lunches and carpools to entice workers back to the office.
The consequences of not returning could be punitive. You might be overlooked for advancement if you don’t show up more often. Or worse: if you don’t return to the office you may lose your job.
So the tug-of-war between companies and talent will continue to play out.
Let’s take a look at top reasons for working remotely:
1. Work-life balance – Workers like the freedom and flexibility of working from home. It keeps them closer to their families. They have more control over their day-to-day lives and activities.
2. Remote cuts down on commuting – Remote gives back time to workers. If their commute is one hour each way, working from home means a worker gets an extra ten hours of their time each week. That is 40 hours per month which is one week.
3. The cost of working – With increasing fuel prices, workers are footing the bill for gas. They also pay for parking, lunches and wear and tear on vehicles. These costs can add up to thousands of dollars per year which are paid for with after-tax earnings.
4. Productivity – Because workers can organize their home office around their own needs, they claim they can work more efficiently from home. Remote work also removes distractions of office noise and politics.
5. Climate sustainability – The carbon footprint of working from home is reduced if workers are not driving cars back and forth to the office. Reduced mileage also means vehicles can remain on the road longer. In some cases, remote workers are freer to live and work without a car.
6. Diversity and inclusion – Working remotely offers opportunities to workers who cannot afford to live closer to city centres where offices are often located. It is also attractive to workers with young families and those who are looking after elderly relatives.
7. Mental health and wellness – Freedom from commutes on busy highways reduces daily and cumulative stress. Workers are freer to integrate their work with activities like going to the gym or cooking healthy meals. This makes for a happy worker and a happy worker is more productive.
8. Contract workers – Most contractors are accustomed to working from home. Many companies are turning to contingent talent to fill gaps. A culture of remote working makes these organizations more attractive to outside talent.
The work-from-home movement is not about to go away. In a tight talent market, the power has shifted in favour of the worker, whether they are full-time, part-time or working as contractors.
In the next year or so, we will see where the chips will fall in this debate. If companies start shedding jobs due to an economic downturn, they will have more control over decisions on remote working.
But firms in search of the best talent may find that remote working can actually be a win-win for employers and workers.
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