The concept of working from home is not a new one, but for many until March of 2020 it was something that seemed out of reach. That was, until stay-at-home orders were put into place and millions of workers were left with no choice but to work from home. At Terra Translations, our entire team has worked remotely since day one, so we were able to maintain business as usual while staying home to slow the spread of COVID-19. But for many businesses, a major shift had to occur in order to accommodate remote working.
The Forced Shift to Remote Work
As mentioned, the rapid spread of COVID-19 left many employers with no choice but to send their workers home. While not all employees can work remotely, many in more corporate settings can do so with the right support. Remote work has always had a stigma attached to it. Many business leaders fear it will lead employees to being unproductive, uncommunicative, and untrustworthy. With no choice but to allow employees to work from home, many managers and executives are realizing that stigma is often untrue and that there are actually many benefits of allowing employees to do their work from home when possible.
Studies have long shown that working from home can enable employees to be more productive. A 2019 study by Airtasker found that remote employees worked an average of 16.8 more days than office employees every year and wasted less time during the workday. The positive effects of working from home are not just felt during office hours. The survey also found that remote employees on average save an annual average of $4,523 on fuel required to commute, not to mention many hours spent in traffic.
Employees aren’t the only ones who will save money by working from home, business owners are looking at massive savings too by not providing a workspace for employees. Of course, savings caused by workplaces moving from the office to the home will cause a negative impact for other businesses. While many businesses will save money on office rent, utilities, and supplies, the suppliers they no longer require to keep theirs up and running will suffer. Landlords, office supply stores, and restaurants and shops in business-heavy areas and financial districts could face ample loss in revenue when their customers trade their pricey office space for a spot on the couch.
It seems natural that the companies who found success in, and reaped the benefits, of remote work would consider continuing to do so once stay-at-home orders are lifted. Large international companies such as Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Twitter were early to send employees home after the onset of COVID-19 and are continuing to keep employees home longer than other companies. Many of these tech giants are reporting they will offer more work-from-home opportunities for employees on an ongoing basis, even once the spread of COVID-19 stops. Tech companies are notorious for building luxurious, creative, and unique workspaces to attract top talent, but it appears the office employees may be most drawn to is at home.