Desperate for stability, our society keeps talking about “the new normal” — how our personal and professional lives will be permanently altered by the coronavirus pandemic — and understandably, work-from-home policies are a cornerstone of that conversation. Remote work was a critical enabler of business and economic continuity during the original shelter-in-place regulations, and may continue to be for future emergencies, especially now that it’s been proven to be possible. So, now our news feeds are inundated with reports and projections about where knowledge workers that were able to work remotely during lock-downs will be commuting to in the future — the cubicle or the kitchen table.
It now looks like many workers will continue to have the option to work from home permanently. Even amidst a global crisis, employees are reporting greater productivity and higher job satisfaction, which is translating into enormous profitability for their employers. By permitting offsite work, the businesses then get to access even more overhead savings, like lower real estate, equipment, and supply expenses.
We don’t need to be anywhere specific to fulfil our scope of work. Some days we might choose to go to the office, others we might go to a coworking space, library, or just our living room. The point is that no matter where we are, we’re trusted and enabled to do our best work. Period. For knowledge workers whose roles rely on mobile tools (such as computers, software, and internet connections), location should be a daily choice, not a lifestyle commitment.
What have we learned from the abrupt transition to virtual collaboration is that we want to adopt in the future, regardless of our workplace choice? therefore may define the “new normal” of location-independent business operations.
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