FROM THE EMPLOYEE:
Adapting to working through a global pandemic was a chaotic transition, at first.
The authoritarian structure of the traditional 9 to 5 began to crumble on the heels of COVID-19 making its debut as a global health crisis. This transition has completely changed the game; we no longer go to work – work goes with us. Instead of feeling drained and controlled by this archaic structure, we find intrinsic motivation to do our jobs.
This new structure probably benefits the ‘workaholics’ the most but in a surprising way. The ‘old normal’ provoked dissociation of oneself entirely into their work. Burnout was often the primary product of the requirement of a constant physical presence in the office, allowing room for excuses to not live our lives because work was too demanding.
The ‘new normal’ begets personal growth. Working from home forces one to come face-to-face with aspects of life that were otherwise easy to overlook or even ignore. Whether it be spending more time with family, pets, or even just ourselves. Working from wherever shifts the dynamic of planning our lives around work to integrating work into our lives, in a way that best serves us. This shift allows room for growth in ways that ultimately benefit individuals in and outside of their professional lives.
Eliminating the primary cause of burnout promotes sustainable productivity. The ability to make space in our lives for other things that allow us to grow as autonomous individuals will ultimately make us better employees.
FROM THE EMPLOYER:
From an employer perspective, enabling employees to work remotely allows our team to grow and thrive both professionally and personally. There is a measurable increase in productivity from remote working. Could this be because employees are able to maintain focus in the workplace without distractions from desk visits and office politics? Possibly. Could it be because people are able to flex their time and work around personal appointments, family priorities, or even personal preference on what hours they work best during (hello night owls, good morning early risers!). Maybe. Could it be that as individuals with the autonomy and freedom to work remotely, comes intrinsic trust from the employer to the employee that generates goodwill and the desire to do the job and do it well? Could be.
Finite has been a remote company, even before it was cool – from its onset in 2017 Finite was 100% remote which enabled us to have low overhead, hire top talent anywhere in the US, and provide a benefit that at the time wasn’t nearly as commonplace. The cost savings from our remote work environment is passed down to our employees in salary increases, bonuses, continued education, conference attendance, and more.
With the onset of a global pandemic, many companies had to evolve and learn quickly how to continue operating within stay-at-home orders and employees who simply weren’t willing to risk going into the office. Companies at first were resistant to this change and some employees struggled with remote work. However, as time went on both parties began to see the benefits of remote working. After over a year of working from home, companies have seen the success and the benefits of this environment. Employees are reticent to return to the office recognizing the value-add remote work brings. While there are some outliers that are against the change and shift to remote working, the writing is on the wall that this is the future of the workplace. Employees no longer see remote working as a benefit, they see it as a job requirement. A company that is not willing or able to evaluate the way they do work and recognize opportunities for employees to work from home will find themselves losing out on top talent.
There are, of course, jobs that can’t be done remotely and many of those jobs are held by essential personnel. Our doctors, nurses, first responders, firefighters, city workers, teachers, and so many more that glove up, suit up, and show up. To these individuals, we owe our gratitude and applause as they get the job done, onsite and on the ground without preamble.
No matter the job or the industry, the way we work has changed. One thing job seekers should consider when looking for a remote job – is the opportunity to work from home a benefit to YOU or is it a benefit to the COMPANY? Can it be both? Absolutely. However, a company that is prioritizing its employees will maintain that option even if they are still paying rent on an office building or recently invested in a new campus. A company that prioritizes people first won’t turn around months from now with a “return to office” survey or memo. At this point, companies should see the benefits in employee satisfaction, performance, and retention for those working from home and continue to enable their organization to thrive in this new way.
Shameless plug – here at Finite work-life balance isn’t a benefit, it’s simply a given. We believe people shouldn’t live to work, they should work to live – and that’s on putting People First.