What Will Change When the Pandemic Ends?

The pandemic has arguably produced some of the most significant changes we have experienced on a global level. It appears, at least in most 1st world countries, that we are quickly moving to endemic status and we are seeing some countries, states, and provinces dropping restrictions and returning to normal. The question is, what is normal now?

Remote work has become commonplace. Will that continue?

Not all industries can operate with a remote work force. Those have no choice but to return to their workplaces, which many will have done already, with appropriate safeguards in place.

Our industry, information technology - broadly speaking, can support a remote workforce. It seems many tech companies are embracing some form of continued remote work for their staff, either part-time or full-time. North49 falls into this camp, so we polled our staff to get their thoughts on the pros and cons of remote work and what their preference would be. Here are some of the responses we got.

“I enjoy working from home because it allowed me to move further outside the city and buy a bigger home than I would have been able to in the city. Daily commute during rush hour from where I live now would be a nightmare!”

“As, I’m sure, with most people now, I order quite a bit online and have the packages delivered to my house. As I’m working from home I am almost always here to receive them and not have them lying outside my front door being susceptible to disappearing.”

“I used to spend more than an hour commuting. That time can be spent doing some other chores. However, I do miss running into people on the commute. It used to be a good way to start/finish office time for the day.”

“Good: I enjoy my 10 second commute vs my previous 30-minute commute. Also, it’s easier to figure out my lunch.

Bad: I don’t get to chat with my coworkers anymore and I got some exercise as I was taking transit (4000 steps a day).”

“What I like about working from home is that I can do my exercises during the time that I would normally spent commuting. However, I do miss social interactions with my colleagues and having chitchats during a coffee break!”

“What I like about working from home: Not having to commute. With the rising cost of housing, there is a sense of relief in knowing that I don’t have to be close to a major city center to work (and to not have to commute for an hour+).

What I miss about the office: The social aspect. Saying Hi to people in the mornings. Going to the lunchroom and chatting with people.”

"I prefer to work from home because I feel comfortable working in the environment that I set up. For example, I am using two monitors to work and I have both Mac and Windows pc set up at home. I can be more efficient and productive while working at home."

“I prefer working at home because I can flexibly switch work style to keep healthy status and work performance.”

“I like working at home because I have less of an impact on our environment due the fact I am not driving to and from the office.” Not to mention the current price of gas may bankrupt you if you had to commute.

“I prefer WFH. By the end of the day, no more struggling for finishing what I'm doing or going home.”

“Eliminating the 1 – 1.5 hour commute translates to both exercise time and work time. It’s much easier to spend an extra half hour or more working when you don’t have to worry about hitting the worst traffic to get home.”

The overall sentiment from our staff is that they are more productive and have a healthier balance of work and home life. And we do realize that we are fortunate that this can be an option for us.

Considering the cost of maintaining a physical office, I can think of a lot of ways to use those funds for marketing, or increasing staff, or any number of other things that would be a huge benefit to the organization and our customers. I doubt we’re alone in that.

About North49

As a Sage Authorized Partner & Development Partner, North49 helps customers in their digital transformation and finance office modernization journey. With solutions that improve and automate processes, we work in partnership with customers to transform the office of finance to be a more strategic partner for their organizations.

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