How is Remote Work Going for Workers?
Indeed.com is an internet site to connect employers with job seekers. To understand the "work from home" (WFH) situation, workers required to work from home were surveyed. Here are some insights from the survey.
Disruptions whle working from home are disturbing, yet add some humor to the day. Reliable internet connections are of concern. Learning different types of responsiblities is causing stress. Workers are rethinking and recalibrating their future careers. Will work from home continue? If so, is a permanent home office needed? Where is the best place to live?
Slower Pace, Longer Days
Rushing to work and traffic delays no longer cause stress. Work may start earlier but, unfortunately, ends later. A more flexible work schedule is possible, with time available during the day for "self-care" such as exercising.
Missing Face to Face
The offfice routine and coworker conversation is missed. Face to face camaraderie and team relationships are missed.
Working from home to provide support to essential workers is demanding and stressful because supplies may be hard to obtain, and the pressure to perform is real.
Too Much Isolation
Some workers do not like the isolation. Office life has a flow to it that is not available when working from home. Remote work requires more discipline. Some companies have even given a "pet allowance" to provide $300 to help workers pay to get and care for a pet as a companion.
It takes a lot of work to learn and adjust to Zoom team meetings, vitual delivery of product presentation meetings, and client consultations. Some companies require workers to re-design new website pages for this new reality. Demand is high for mentors to teach skills and know-how for remote work. Workers want to learn because remote work may be the wave of the future.
How is Remote Work Going for Employers?
At first, employers were amazed at how well workers performed remotely - even while at home with children and home distractions.
Many employers started to embrace remote work for the long term to save on office rent, utilities, and other expenses of traditional offices. Some employers vowed to never go back to big city offices in favor of smaller satellite offices and hybrid work schedules.
Wall Street Journal reports that "some cracks are starting to emerge." Projects are taking longer, training is hard to do, integrating new workers is complicated. Young professionals are not "developing" at the same rate they do in offices working in team to solve problems.
The boost in productivity happened early because workers were scared to lose their jobs, and worked extra hard at home. Both the fear and the pace is not sustainable, and workers are burning out. "You can tell people are getting fatigued." There is energy in an office that does not translate through Zoom meetings or working from home. People in a room together see body language and read signals that don't come through on a screen. There is no "spontaneous interactions" that glue the team together.
In offices, older workers mentored younger workers during the work day. This is not happening with remote work. Younger workers are missing their mentors.
Also, it is a "logistical nightmare" figuring out how to coordinate computer connections and security for data transfers.
Employers are re-thinking decisions to continue with remote work, bring workers back to an office, or a hybrid mix.
In surveys, Google found that 39% fewer workers in the U.S. were spending time at their offices - meaning that these workers are now remote workers.
Here are the percentages of workers who became remote workers during this pandemic.
- 39% United States
- 55% United Kingdom
- 44% Canada
- 33% Australia
- 63% Italy
- 64% Spain
- 39% Germany
- 12% South Korea
- 9% Japan
But not all workers can work from home. Survey found the following percent of workers were able to work from home during this pandemic.
- 57% of Financial Industry workers are able to work from home
- 26% of Health Care Industry workers are able to work from home
- 11% of Agricultural Industry workers are able to work from home
- 9% Hospitality Industry workers are able to work from home
(Unfortunatley, other industries were not included in this survey)
States temporarily suspended parts of their economies to slow the spread of Covid. Some workers lost their jobs, other workers became remote workers, and some workers were deemed "essential" by states, and continued to show up at their jobs to work during the shutdowns.
What makes an essential worker?
Twenty states created their own list.
Twenty-two states defer to the list created by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of Homeland Security. Seven states have named no guidance document for essential workers. Essential workers are defined as "workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continue critical infrastructure operations from energy to defense to agriculture. Click on the link to see: Federal List of Essential Workers
Essential workers work in the following major sectors of the economy:
- Child care
- Water and wastewater
- Agriculture and food production
- Critical retail (grocery stores, hardware stores, mechanics)
- Critical trades (construction workers, electricians, plumbers, etc.)
- Nonprofits and social service organizations
U.S. Work World . . . Essential?
Last spring and early summer, orders for usworkworld.com, for the first time since 1986, dropped to zero. We were thinking U.S. Work World was no longer essential in distance learning environments. Maybe a larger company with more virtual capacity was needed for Career Education lessons.
But, orders are returning. Maybe U.S. Work World is essential, so . . .
- We DECIDED to continue.
- We are COMMITTED to low-cost PDF lessons.
- We are FOCUSED on Career Education - work world, college, military.
- Our goal is to inspire you and your students to SUCCEED in learning and having interesting discussions about the work world.
Hopefully, you continue to find usworkworld.com useful in this most unusual of school years . . . during distance learning . . . as we all try to make the best of the new normal.