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Work can work from anywhere

Jeanne Sager - Columnist
Posted 3/15/21

Facebook. Salesforce. Spotify. The list goes on. They sent workers home when the pandemic first took hold of the United States, and they've told them they never have to go back into an office. …

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Work can work from anywhere

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Facebook. Salesforce. Spotify. The list goes on. They sent workers home when the pandemic first took hold of the United States, and they've told them they never have to go back into an office.

Almost twice as many Americans have worked from home during the pandemic as those heading in. And a recent Gallup poll showed at least half of those want to stay home, even as vaccines make us safer and restrictions are lifted.

Here's what COVID-19 showed us: It's perfectly possible to allow your employees to work from home and see productivity remain consistent.

In fact, many businesses reported a spike in productivity, despite myriad workers juggling their day jobs with childcare and remote schooling. One Stanford study reported spikes as high as 13 percent in productivity from workers at home…even with the pandemic weighing on their shoulders.

An Airtasker survey, meanwhile, found folks working from home are less likely to avoid work tasks. And why wouldn't that be true? When you're home, you're even more inclined to want to get things done so you can complete the work day and get back to being with the ones you love.

It's good for businesses when they can let workers stay home.

It's good for employees too — less commuting time has been linked to more exercise and better mental health, plus more time with family members.

And there's the benefit to the environment too — at the height of the lockdown, cities like Los Angeles and New Delhi saw marked improvement in their air quality as their roadways cleared of cars. Transportation is the number one source of emissions, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Fewer commuters equals fewer emissions, which is a net positive for the climate.

Certainly not everyone can work from home. Our doctors, our nurses, our grocery store clerks, our janitors…that's a list just as long as that of the businesses who have told employees they can remain at home indefinitely.

But as we consider our “new normal” post pandemic, we have a choice. Do we rush back to the old ways? Or do we learn from this year and apply that learning to make the world just a bit better?

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