In only two years, several individuals and businesses have had their working environments transformed by COVID-19. While workplaces are opening back up and people in some professions are returning to in-person work, nearly 60% of workers in the United States who can conduct their jobs from home continue to telework (work from home or other distant locations) regularly or virtually entirely.
The number of Americans who worked from home, either full-time or part-time, was less than 25% before the epidemic. Even though the number of people teleworking has decreased marginally from its peak earlier in the pandemic, the number of people who continue to work from home (WFH) is much more significant than before COVID-19 struck the country.
The Implications of Increased Telework Rates for the Workplace
As the world continues to return to some new type of “normal,” many people who have polls about their plans to return to an office or other place of work have stated that they intend to continue to work at WFH either part-time or on a full-time basis. In this way, the epidemic has irrevocably altered the modern workplace’s traditional paradigm. Companies and their employees will be impacted in various ways as a result of this change. The ramifications of this appear to be essentially good, as it turns out.
The Working Hours of Employees are Becoming More Flexible
While most businesses maintain their usual business hours in COVID-19, individuals who work from home have greater freedom regarding the hours they choose to devote to their jobs. Workers are freer to work when convenient for them because they are not forced to go to the workplace at a set time and remain there until a specific time.
The fact that many people were stuck at home with their entire families during the COVID-19 pandemic required employers to be aware that they had other duties that they needed to attend to during the day.
The realization that, as long as everyone shows up for meetings and takes care of all their responsibilities, there is no reason why they can’t start working later or earlier or take a couple of hours off one day and make up for it over the weekend has also occurred to both employers and employees alike. As a result, more flexible working hours will continue to be a workplace trend in 2022.
Increased Opportunities for Employees (Along with Businesses)
Workers before the pandemic were considerably more likely to remain with a single employer for several years, progressing through the ranks. However, because so many businesses are adopting a WFH or hybrid workplace business model, it is now easier to discover remote work opportunities, allowing employees to have a broader range of employment possibilities than ever before.
Because businesses are no longer constrained to searching for talent either locally or within specified geographic areas, this opens up additional chances for them. In turn, this enables them to more readily identify employees who possess specific skill sets or are willing to work within their financial constraints, adding to the overall success of their company.
Physical Office Space is No Longer Required in COVID-19
Given that so many individuals will continue to work from home in 2022 and beyond, businesses will no longer require the same office space as before the pandemic infected. Many firms will be able to downsize or eliminate their physical areas, which will help them save money and minimize operational costs, allowing them to enhance profit margins.
Over the next few years, we will see an increase in the number of coworking spaces that are being established. Workers who like to work remotely from a location other than their residences might use such venues by renting a desk. Additionally, coworking spaces have conference rooms and entire offices that businesses can rent for a limited period.
Organizational Priorities Will Focus on Physical and Mental Well-being as Much as Possible
Physical and emotional health difficulties were brought to light due to the many people who were forced to stay at home or inside over the past two years. Many people discovered that caring for their well-being was more essential than work. Many businesses found that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for creating a positive company culture, which is now widely accepted.
As a result, many firms will have to begin providing additional benefits to their employees in the areas of overall health and well-being. Gym memberships, reimbursement for online exercise programs, and paid mental health days off are examples of benefits that may be available. Healthier employees are more productive, which will benefit both them and their company as a whole, as has been shown.
Businesses Require Better Cybersecurity Solutions
The use of legacy VPNs may have been sufficient cybersecurity solutions when just a small number of a company’s workers were working remotely at any given time. However, these solutions are gradually becoming obsolete as the number of remote employees increases during COVID-19.
Given the vast proportion of people who work from home or other distant places, connecting to company resources through various devices and internet networks, the potential attack surfaces for cyberattacks on corporate networks are more significant than ever.
As a result, organizations are looking for more powerful, modern cybersecurity solutions to mitigate the dangers of cyberattacks in an environment where so many people work remotely. Cloud-based virtual private networks (VPNs) and zero-trust access control are among the characteristics that will continue to gain popularity in the following years.