Remote work continues to provide the safest alternative to traditional in-person offices as the Delta variant drives the majority of severe COVID-19 cases in the United States and beyond.
Corporate trends favor work-from-home proponents. Amid the fourth wave of the Coronavirus, major employers are pushing back the dates for employees to return to the physical workplace. For example, Amazon informed corporate employees they wouldn’t be back until January 2022. Additionally, Google has moved their in-office return to October, and Microsoft has indefinitely postponed its return to in-person office work in the U.S.
Since our inception in 2013, NisonCo has been a fully remote company. Our founder Evan Nison began the company out of his home office because of personal preference. He finds himself to be more productive and overall fulfilled when working from home, as recently told to Forbes. Then, once it was time to recruit employees, Evan found the best talent wasn’t in his geographic area, nor were they able/willing to relocate. This is top among many reasons to run a remote office, and Evan has offered plenty of top-notch, experience-driven advice on how to do so effectively.
Top epidemiologists now predict the once-novel Coronavirus will become endemic, meaning “it won’t be eliminated, but it won’t up-end our lives anymore,” as explained by the Atlantic. Although the virus will be sticking around much longer than anticipated, there are ways to mitigate the harmful impact it has in our workplaces, such as by working from home rather than from a physical office.
Here are four reasons why remote work is an ideal option during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
1. WFH Eliminates In-Person Contact Between Employees
Between March and May 2020, 42 states kicked off stay-at-home orders in an attempt to “flatten the curve.” The hope was to reduce interpersonal social contact and therefore slow down the transmission of COVID cases. The near-national shutdown birthed the definition of an “essential worker,” which is someone enabled to continue working in person because their job is vital to society continuing to operate. Often, this meant being directly in harm’s way of the virus: doing the heavy lifting of staffing hospitals and pharmacies, stocking grocery stores, maintaining roads/infrastructure and more, while “non-essential” workers stayed home. As a result, remote work has surged. Employers quickly brought workforces online to continue their operations amid a growing global pandemic.
Though unvaccinated people make up the majority of COVID cases currently, breakthrough cases (though less severe) can certainly happen even among fully vaccinated people — including in workspaces. Although masks, blinders, constant disinfecting, and frequent hand washing are proven methods to protect against transmission in a physical environment, remote work is the only guaranteed way to prevent further transmissions and outbreaks among staff, because employees aren’t coming in direct contact with one another.
2. Remote Work Reduces Overhead
Bringing a previously physical workspace online can be cost-effective. Though it’s recommended to invest in premium versions of tools like Zoom and Slack to help your team connect, a remote company mostly diminishes the need for a physical office space, which often carries huge overhead expenses in rent or mortgage payments and other utility and maintenance costs.
According to Global WorkplaceAnalytics, nearly six out of 10 employers attribute cost-efficiency to remote work. By transitioning to remote work, organizations operate with lower overhead costs, allowing them to reinvest directly into their employees and the continued improvement of the company. Shareholders and boards of directors also adore decreased expenses.
3. Remote Work is Adaptable and Accommodating
Enabling employees to work from home helps retain a more diverse culture. Remote work has the potential to enable people to fulfill their responsibilities at work and beyond. Parents and students benefit from a flexible, remote schedule while balancing family and academic obligations. Additionally, CNN reports those with disabilities benefit tremendously from remote work:
“For many, remote work has been more accessible as offices often lack situation-specific accommodations. These can include wheelchair ramps and certain types of accommodating furniture, safety from allergens, and easy access to medications and bathrooms. The National Organization on Disability supports flexible work policies above all, said Charles Catherine, associate director of special projects for the organization.”
Those who aren’t parents or students nor have a disability still benefit from a flexible schedule. Whether it’s a doctor’s appointment, workout routine or other daytime errands, remote workers are given the freedom to adjust their workday accordingly.
4. Working From Home Increases Employee Happiness
Flexible schedules help remote workers achieve a better work-life balance, and feel more fulfilled with their professional and personal lives. This leads to overall better mental health, which is essential during a pandemic.
In-person workers are struggling with this balance: A study from Harvard University’s School of Public Health found an association between COVID exposure/infection and the negative impacts on the mental health of essential retail workers. By contrast, Owl Labs’ “State of Remote Work 2019” report found, “Remote work or the ability to work remotely makes employees happier, feel more trusted, better able to achieve work-life balance, and more inclined to take a pay cut to benefit from added flexibility.”
Without a commute to and from work, many remote workers fill the time with enriching at-home rituals. Here are some ways the NisonCo staff unwinds at the end of the workday:
- Marissa Smith, Managing Editor: “I get outside ASAP — garden, walk, anything outdoors.”
- Max Broburg, Public Relations Specialist: “Go to Jiu-Jitsu class.”
- Wilfred Waimiri, PR Account Coordinator: “I spend some time meditating”
- Zane Bader, PR Account Manager: “I like to smoke a bowl immediately followed by a walk around the neighborhood.”
- Lucas Wentworth, PR Account Manager: “I literally do the same as Zane.”
- Marisa Rincon, Business Development Coordinator: “I immediately reward myself with a treat and go work out.”
- Tori Gates, Director of Operations: “I usually switch my brain by immediately jumping into cooking dinner. Not having to commute, I have time to make more of my meal from scratch and save takeout for special occasions.”
Remote work has tremendous health and financial benefits for employees and employers alike. At NisonCo, it’s been a win-win scenario. It’s never too late for your company to transition toward a fully remote company.
Are you interested in joining the talented crew of passionate people working for NisonCo from all over the world? Connect with us via LinkedIn, or at our contact form here to inquire about available positions.