Work from home. We are all more than familiar with those words, especially now after a global pandemic caused most businesses world-wide to switch to remote work. At first, it sounds great, being able to work from your home office, no commute in rush hour traffic, and more time to spend with your family. But when it has become a more permanent norm for workers everywhere, what do you need to know in order to be as successful as possible at your job, even from home?

Work from home had been relevant even before the pandemic, with “over 5 million U.S. employees working from home at least half the time.” Due to this, some companies and employees have had less trouble just switching over completely. But what happens when you find yourself going from always in person to completely remote work? The good news is that more than 80% percent of managers have seen an increase of productivity from employees working from home. This statistic can be credited to many things, such as lower stress levels, less distractions, and the comfort of being in their own space. With these benefits and many more, it is clear that working from home can be a great alternative for many employees and companies, even in normal times.
(https://www.fundera.com/resources/working-from-home-statistics).

However, remote work is more relevant than ever now, and companies and their employees need to fully adjust to this change, making it a more permanent solution as we go forward. Many employees likely had temporary setups for this work, hoping and anticipating that the return to in person work would come much quicker than it has. Going into the sixth month since most lock downs and quarantine practices began, those temporary setups need to be improved and adapted. Working from home is the new normal and will be for the foreseeable future. Dan Ackerman and Jason Hiner, editors at CNET, recommend many things in order to be as successful as possible, with the most important being a high-quality technology setup. Working from home is reliant on technology, so good technology can make the experience more seamless and overall, much better. A better computer can mean the difference between a struggle to stay connected to your work and an efficient work from home experience. Of course, an internet connection is also essential. Good technology can aid you in staying completely connected.
(https://www.cnet.com/news/now-what-how-work-from-home-is-evolving/).

The pandemic has drastically shifted how we view work, and what we consider essential to be in person for and what we can do from home. “The corona virus crisis is forcing white-collar America to reconsider nearly every aspect of office life. Some practices now seem to be wastes of time, happily discarded; others seem to be unexpectedly crucial, and impossible to replicate online. For workers wondering right now if they’re ever going back to the office, the most honest answer is this: Even if they do, the office might never be the same.” One example of something that can not be perfectly replicated online, and may not need to is meetings. Meetings online are not the same as they would be in person, but as many meetings may not be necessary for the company to continue working as well. “The sudden shift to online meetings has prompted executives and employees everywhere to rethink how many are truly necessary. In the early days of the pandemic, most of the workers I spoke to told me, they frantically began setting up video meetings to replicate every get-together they would normally hold face to face. But they quickly discovered video meetings didn’t flow nearly as well.” Of course, work from home is not without its downsides and struggles. Many workers are finding that the social aspect of being in an office is sorely missed. This is even more so if they live alone, locked down in isolation without the usual social interaction they would get from going to work every day. Of course, on the flip side, it is not perfect either. Those with families at home, especially young children, are finding it incredibly difficult to handle childcare, work, home schooling, and the other household duties that they have. However, on the flip side, research has found that those who choose to work from home, as opposed to the forcing of it that has occurred due to the pandemic, has increased those employee’s satisfaction and happiness with their employment.
(https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/09/magazine/remote-work-covid.html).

It is not hard to see that working from home is a double-edged sword. There are many upsides, but those upsides are paired with just as many downsides. With as many people as there were working from home before the pandemic, the numbers of those now working from home dwarfs that completely. Many people are having to learn a new method of work, and are experiencing all of the struggles and wins that come with adjusting to something new. Increases in productivity, lower stress levels, and higher flexibility go hand in hand with inefficient online meetings, social isolation, and struggles to keep up with everything needed in a family home, on top of work. The best thing we as employees and employers can do is take each day, one at a time, continue to adapt, and work hard to make sure things go smoothly and everyone makes the shift into remote work as efficiently as possible.

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