The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted labor markets globally during 2020 and most of 2021. The short-term consequences were sudden and often severe: Millions of people lost jobs, and others adjusted to working from home as offices closed. Many other workers were deemed essential and continued to work in hospitals and grocery stores, on garbage trucks and in warehouses, yet under new protocols that were quickly implemented to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Perhaps the most obvious impact of COVID-19 on the labor force is the dramatic increase in employees working from home. I found that about 20 to 25 percent of the workforces in could work from home between three and five days a week or permanently at home. This is about four to five times more remote work vs. before the pandemic and could prompt a large change in the geography of work, as individuals and companies shift out of large cities into suburbs and small cities.
Some work that can be done remotely is best done in person like negotiations, critical business decisions, group activities, brainstorming sessions, providing feedback, and onboarding new employees are examples of activities that may lose some effectiveness when done remotely however a year later this proved success
Some companies are already, if not done already, planning to shift to flexible workspaces after positive experiences with remote work during the pandemic, a move that will reduce the overall space they need and bring fewer workers into offices each day. This would have a positive impact on work life balance by saving the average travel time back and forth from the office. This of course will negatively impact other types of businesses that depend on daily travelers like restaurants and coffee shops
If you are one of the lucky few that will spend more time at home or favorite place to work remotely, you need to make sure you are as comfortable as can be, setting up a WFH (work from home) office is a long term investment you need think about
Set up a WFH ‘office’ that fits your needs
Most people have set up a temporary home office during the pandemic that won’t work well for the long term. In addition to having the right equipment, the physical setup is critical
A long-term home office should be a separate space in your home that is outfitted for work. Do as much of the following as you can to create an effective, safe workspace for the long term.
A dedicated space
Use a small room that can hold a desk and computer equipment and whose door can be shut for the essential need to separate work life from home life. If you are like me and have kids, you don’t want them popping up in the middle of a vide conference, fun as it might be but depends on the discussion at hand this can be impactful
Most people don’t have spare space, but many people can convert a guest room into a dual-purpose space, an enclosed porch, or a large laundry room
If you can’t get a dedicated space you can separate from the rest of your life, try to find a space that you can sit comfortably in and can focus.
A good chair
A good chair is like a comfortable walking shoes, you will be sitting there for roughly 8 hours a day so you need to be as comfortable as possible. There are a lot of bad chairs out there that can injure you over prolonged computer use.
If you can afford it, get an adjustable professional office chair where you can set a precise fit for your body and workspace. But those typically go for $600 and up; there are also much cheaper office chairs — figure between $150 and $250 — that would work as well but you should test them in person
Never underestimate the effects of good lightning on your work environment. Lighting is often an area people don’t think about.
Sunlight is often a good source of lightning your office if you have big windows, but you cannot depend on that the entire day or year. Invest in Indirect lighting
Good internet service
Most urban and suburban areas have at least one high-speed provider for internet service; 50Mbps is the minimum speed to shoot for, and the more people using the internet at the same time, the more you want to get a higher-speed service.
This is also means that your work space is within a good range of WiFi, preferably use wired Ethernet if your work consumes lots of data to run
You might consider a surge protector or, if you’re not using a laptop, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). If the power goes out, computer equipment is usually unharmed, but if you live in a stormy area, there’s a small chance you might get a power surge that could damage your computer equipment.
Remote working module is the future that all companies are trying to achieve as it’s a very persuasive option to hire candidates without disrupting their life. No more packing and moving everything you have and leaving everyone you know and care for behind.
Your comfort in a working environment is very important so spend as much time as you can researching for the best equipment that suits you and talk to your employer as some of the biggest companies in the world right now are giving out allowance to purchase this equipment
Let me know your thoughts below