The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for the adoption of remote work policies worldwide. What initially started as a means to ensure business continuity has now become the new normal, and companies and employees alike have had to adapt to this new way of working. As the world recovers from the pandemic, it is essential to assess how our lives have been impacted beyond the workday. In this blog, we will explore how remote work is reshaping our lives.
The Rise of Remote Work
Remote work has been on the rise for several years, but it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that it became ubiquitous. Before the pandemic, remote work was viewed as a perk for employees, with only a few companies offering it as an option. However, the pandemic has forced companies to adopt remote work policies to ensure business continuity, regardless of the impact on employees’ work-life balance. Remote work has disrupted the traditional 9-5 work schedule and has allowed employees to customize their workday to their preferences. With the daily commute eliminated, remote workers can use that time to engage in other activities, making way for further balance between work and personal life.
Remote Work could make us happier
A study conducted by Buffer found that remote workers were more likely to enjoy a better work-life balance than those working in an office. Without the daily commute, remote workers have more time for personal activities, which leads to happiness and fulfillment. Moreover, remote work has enabled employees to have the flexibility to manage personal commitments like taking care of children or attending doctor appointments. These benefits could ultimately lead to happier, more satisfied lives.
Remote Work also has health benefits. A study conducted by Global Workplace Analytics found that remote workers report significantly lower stress levels than office workers. This could be attributed to the elimination of the daily commute, more relaxed work environment, and the flexibility of remote work.
The challenges of Remote Work
Remote work offers several benefits, but it also poses challenges. Remote workers can experience social isolation, which can lead to decreased productivity, stress and burnout. Without face-to-face interactions, remote workers miss out on social interactions and the sense of belonging that comes with working in an office. Furthermore, remote workers are likely to overwork because there is often no clear distinction between work time and personal time. In a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, it was found that remote workers worked an average of 48.5 minutes per day longer than office workers.
How Remote Work is Reshaping Our Lives
Remote work has had a significant impact on our lives beyond our work hours, and below are some ways it is doing it:
Flexibility in Healthcare
Telemedicine has been around for a while, but the COVID-19 pandemic, together with remote work, has accelerated its adoption. With remote work, employees can access medical appointments and consultations without leaving the house, saving time and energy. Telemedicine offers convenience and flexibility, enabling employees to prioritize their health without sacrificing work.
Pursuing Hobbies and Passions
Without daily commutes, remote workers can achieve more than just having a better work-life balance. They have more time to engage in personal activities, like hobbies or passions, that provide them with fulfillment outside of work hours. Moreover, remote work enables employees to travel more, either within their home country or abroad, making it easy to pursue activities that they might not have been able to before.
Reduced Carbon Emissions
Remote work could help reduce carbon emissions. Daily commutes contribute to carbon emissions, and since remote workers do not have to commute daily, their carbon footprint reduces significantly. Additionally, remote work could lead to less demand for office spaces, reducing the need for large, energy-consuming buildings.
More Time with Family
Remote work has enabled employees to spend more time with their families. Parents can now better balance work and childcare responsibilities. Additionally, remote work has enabled employees to work from anywhere, which may facilitate spending time with family and friends who live far away. The flexibility provided by remote work enables families to make adjustments and balance their work and family commitments more effectively.
Remote work has disrupted the traditional 9-5 work schedule and has reshaped our lives beyond work hours. While it poses challenges, remote work has enabled employees to enjoy a better work-life balance, prioritize personal commitments, pursue hobbies and passions, reduce their carbon footprint, and spend more time with family. As remote work becomes the new normal, it is essential to assess how it is impacting our lives and continues to find ways to reap its benefits while mitigating its challenges. Remote work has served as the catalyst for several lifestyle changes, and hopefully, employers will continue to allow and embrace remote work practices.