When you look back at your working life in 2018, you might have been in a comfortable office, with lots of colleagues, enjoying the office atmosphere and working hard with your team. Now, what’s changed?
Are you stuck in a bedroom, in a corner of your house, in a make-shift office under the stairs, only seeing your colleagues on Zoom calls and emailing and texting all day?
Almost every facet of our society has changed over the last year. Surviving during a global pandemic has led to significant changes in so many different aspects of our lives. From the way, we work to the way that we eat, exercise, and spend our downtime. Time has changed. Have you noticed the days dragging, or have you noticed that even though you have more time in the day, it doesn’t seem that way anymore?
From a year of Zoom exhaustion, mask profiteering, and virtual pilates, WFH, may have been the most lasting COVID-19 movement. Organisations all across the world were set to close their doors due to the virus, often with only a day’s warning. For those who were able to work from home during the pandemic, the unsettling impact is amplified by the blurred line dividing work and personal life. The list of concerns has grown to include determining if daycare poses a health risk and determining how to work from home while kids attend online schooling. The issue is considerably more complex for parents who must still ride to work. Going two years into the pandemic, we ask ourselves, who has adapted best to the WFH lifestyle?
Younger employees perceive themselves to be less productive and less committed. Younger employees may be more adept at communicating with people electronically, but working from home has weighed down millennials and Generation Z more than older generations so far. Because of their lack of remote work experience, younger individuals now report greater procrastination and a more difficult time establishing a work/life balance. Overall, Baby Boomers were the group most likely to answer that they don’t mind working remotely, considering it as neither a disadvantage nor an advantage. In contrast, Gen X was by far the most likely ones to declare they will not accept a job unless they have the choice to work remotely.
Meanwhile, the rise of WFH has opened discussions about gender diversity. This includes but is not limited to men’s preconceptions about women’s responsibilities in the office. Could this lead to a more diverse workplace and better conditions for both men and women?
Covid is a great equaliser. It doesn’t discriminate about who it affects, so why should we discriminate against any aspect of our diverse society and our diverse working culture?