COVID-19 | September 19th, 2021
Working From Home Has Become Our New Normal
By: D'Miya Smith
Millions of Americans around the world are taking part in an unprecedented study in working from home due to the new COVID 19 restrictions. While some people love the idea of returning to the office, many have found solace in spending time at home.
Myeisha Gibson, a digital media technician at Tallahassee Community College, says the novel COVID-19 restrictions have affected her relationship with her home. “Before COVID-19, my job was to make videos, commercials and teach teachers how to use software for online instruction in person at the facility. When the stay-at-home order was put in place it was difficult to get adjusted because I was not allowed to be around people and I did not have the software needed to fulfill my job task,” said Gibson.
Gibson expressed that although it was an abrupt and difficult transition she now values her time alone and wishes to continue working remotely. “The pros now for working from home is that I have my own space where I don’t have to interact with as many people and it is comforting to be in the comfort of my own home,” she continued.
Although many people around the world were forced to work from home back in 2020, some newly hired employees have also chosen to work from home even after many jobs are now back in person. According to Global Workspace Analytics, 25-30% of the workforce will be completely remote by the end of 2021. Another study reported that out of 10,000 employees, 30% believe that they are more productive and engaged working from home.
Licensed family therapist Jacqueline Screen enjoyed seeing her clients daily where she provided therapy, case management and community service to troubled teens at PACE Center for girls. Screen, whose job immediately began their work from home order at the beginning of quarantine in March 2020, witnessed a drastic change for her and her clients. “At first it was an adjustment because I had to learn a lot about stuff that I didn’t know about as far as technology and it was difficult not being able to get that one-on-one facetime that I believe is beneficial for therapy clients,” said Screen
While Screen now works hybrid, she says it was a personal choice due to the fact it gives her more flexibility and she feels safer to choose whether or not she feels comfortable seeing a family in person. “Working from home just allows me to center myself and gain a sense of peace that is needed to give the best services to my clients in my own safe space,” said Screen.
Among workers who stayed in the same job since the COVID-19 outbreak started, 6 out of 10 say they are as satisfied with their job now as they were before the pandemic and there’s been no change in their productivity or job. Reduced stress and more time for relaxation arise as the main reasons Americans prefer working from home. Myia Durr is among the many people who believe working from home is a better experience for her.
Durr, who is an associate marketing manager at Pitney Bowes, began working virtually last fall for an internship which has now turned into a full-time job. Durr says her day-to-day life includes waking up, getting dressed, and heading straight to her desk to work, which is all in the same room. “The experience is a lot better for me because I feel like I have a lot more freedom to work as opposed to being in the office having people in my space,” Durr said. “And although I’m not physically able to meet people, I’m still able to build bonds with them via zoom and for that, I don’t think I will ever want to work in person again.”
While the employment realm is in a state of uncertainty, many people are getting adjusted to life as they now know it. There is no way of knowing if jobs will stay remote forever, but for now, it is safe to say that people have grown comfortable with this new normal.