With vaccinations available, it is easy to brush off the fact that we are quite literally still in the middle of a global pandemic that is unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon. Yet, every time I get on LinkedIn and see a job that I may be interested in, it has (On-site) tacked next to the job title. And I just have to wonder…why? For close to two years, people have operated these jobs successfully because they didn’t have a choice. Why shouldn’t they be able to have the choice to continue working remotely?
Reasons to avoid going back
People have legitimate reasons for not wanting a return to the office. Some people have noted long commutes (especially considering gas prices) and more of a work-life balance due to WFH jobs. Recent articles claim that the real reason employees don’t want to return to the office is because they have a second job. But as someone who works from home, there are other reasons why that I’m sure other remote workers would agree with.
I’ve had opportunities available to me that I would have never dreamed of at this point in my life thanks to working remotely. I’m not at a point in my life where I can drop everything and move to another state. As a graduate student, working from home has allowed me to pursue my studies and sustain myself by working from home.
I can work comfortably from my porch, a coffee shop, at a friend’s house. I can wear sweat pants if I want to and no one would ever know. I have my dogs to comfort me throughout the day if I get stressed or overwhelmed.
Those reasons are very specific to me. But remote work has other positives. Remote work drastically increases the talent pool that employers have to choose from rather than choosing from the talent pool in the immediate area or paying to move someone else closer to the company location.
Remote work saves employees money. You’re saving on gas and potentially saving on the cost-of-living. If you live in Louisiana but work at job located in New York, you don’t have the burden of cost-of-living in New York. You have more opportunities to do things with your money that aren’t paying for expensive housing.
The environment is also positively affected from more remote work. Pollution from transportation is put into the environment at a lower rate. Plus, not worrying about the stress of a commute, can mean that employees are less stressed and able to focus more at work.
More often than not, there is no legitimate reason for forcing someone to go back to work other than the employer wanting to breathe down their employee’s neck. Going back to the office takes away opportunities for so many great candidates when it doesn’t need to be that way. Sure, some people are thrilled to go back to the office for the friendship and conversation or just being around other people after being in their home for two years. They shold certainly have the option to go in to the office. But as far as requiring it, doesn’t seem right. Remote work is the future, the pandemic kickstarted it, companies that recognize its importance will follow suit.