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Posted On : 29 Jul 2022

Is Remote Working the New Normal?

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Data scientists at Ebelong assert that the writing is on the wall while some businesses continue to ignore The Great Resignation and demand that workers return to the office. Working remotely is here to stay. They predict that by the end of 2022, 25 percent of all professional jobs in North America will be remote and that the number of remote possibilities would rise through 2023. Since the pandemic started, researchers at Ladders have been closely monitoring the availability of remote employment from the 50,000 top firms in North America. Prior to the pandemic, remote employment accounted for less than 4% of all high-paying positions; by the end of 2020, that number had risen to around 9%, and it now accounts for more than 15%


The Consequences of Burnout at Work

The rate of job burnout increased to an all-time high as the year 2022, the third year of the pandemic, approached in the workplace. According to the Work and Well-Being study conducted by the American Psychological Association, 79 percent of the 1,501 employees reported having experienced work-related stress in the month before to the survey. Three out of five employees claimed that their lack of interest, enthusiasm and energy at work was a result of work-related stress. An increase of 38% from 2019 saw a total of 36% with cognitive weariness, 32% with emotional exhaustion, and 44% with physical fatigue.


The politicization of masks and vaccines, as well as perceptions of lack of support from the government and workplaces, have reportedly made workers—especially those in public-facing jobs—cynical about their work and the general public. Organizational psychologist Michael Leiter, an honorary professor of organizational psychology at Melbourne's Deakin University, said, "This form of cynicism is effective because it undercuts the people's sentiments about the worth of their work, which can assist inspire them during difficult times." According to the paper, companies and lawmakers should prioritize stress-reducing measures because pandemic-related pressures won't abate anytime soon. The University of California, Berkeley's Christina Maslach, a retired professor of psychology, continued, "As demands rise, companies need to concentrate on maintaining balance, taking items off the plate when they add something new. That's crucial in the healthcare industry because of the high attrition rates.


Remote Working is Here to Stay  

According to the Owl Labs 2021 State of Remote Work Report, 2021 was the year that remote work remained the norm. Of the 2,050 full-time remote employees surveyed, 90% reported that working remotely increased their productivity on par with working in an office. Another 74 percent claimed that working from home would be better for their mental health after the epidemic, and 84 percent claimed that doing so would make them happier—many of them even willing to forgo a wage raise.


The Owl Labs study is supported by a January 2022 survey of 1,000 full-time employees by Ergotron, which also found that as workers have become more accustomed to hybrid and remote office settings since the start of the epidemic, they are reaping benefits for their physical and mental well-being. Together, these two findings show that American firms are paying attention and thinking ahead to create more progressive workplace regulations that will promote employee success. The report's conclusion was that since remote and hybrid work are now the norm, executives need to reevaluate their workplace cultures.


Nevertheless, throughout the epidemic, a few of large banks and IT organizations have resisted having a permanently remote staff; one company even referred to the idea as a "temporary aberration." As the number of Covid-19 cases increases, businesses like Goldman Sachs and Chase have now retreated and joined rivals in introducing flexible work-from-home programs. According to the most recent research, if businesses don't change to meet the demands of their workforce, people will continue to leave in record numbers. Ragu Bhargava, CEO of Global Upside, concurs. Ragu contends that those who continue to consider remote work as temporary or unconventional, choosing to stick with the "old way of doing things," run the danger of losing employees and losing their competitive edge as the workplace changes around them. When in reality, the working environment will never completely return to how it was before, Ragu added, "many companies are clinging to this narrative of a return to normalcy'." "The pandemic transformed the workplace and hastened the demand for remote employees, which was already on the rise. The pandemic served as a huge wake-up call, teaching us not only that work could be done from home but also that employees needed flexibility to manage their own schedules—essential for those with long commutes, expensive childcare arrangements, and those who just wanted to spend more time with their families.


Ragu uses the staggering figure of 4.5 million employees quitting their employment willingly in November 2021 alone as proof that the American workforce is becoming more aware of their collective bargaining power and that hard-nosed bosses are falling behind. "Companies who choose to revert to the 'old way of doing things will risk losing their workforce and watch a new employment market that evolves around them, eventually moving on totally," Ragu said. "The Great Resignation and Covid-19 are still playing a role in our day-to-day lives.


The Societal Shift Will Affect Everyone


According to Cenedella, the rise in remote employment will cause a significant transformation in society that will affect everyone. Cenedella anticipates that smaller cities and towns will continue to expand since it will relieve workers from being confined to a big city. Cities that currently lack access to excellent professional jobs but have enticing lifestyle components may experience tremendous growth. The inflow of high-earning, educated professionals will affect those communities' education boards, planning commissions, and even the services provided to locals, according to Cenedella. This much remote work will drastically change some communities.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 24 million American workers left their jobs between April and September 2021. The January 2022 Human Workplace Index from Workhuman asserts that actions made by employers will have a significant impact on their team, and 81.5 percent of employees feel more empowered to hold their leaders accountable for creating a better workplace in 2022. More than half (56%) stated they would only hold off on quitting if their bosses made the necessary changes for 30 to 60 days.