The coronavirus outbreak is currently changing every aspect of life, however, work is continuing for many at home and its advantages are showing.
Everything from job interviews to daytime and late-night television shows has changed in recent weeks. However, telecommuting is showing that with widespread implementation, it could provide significant advantages.
According to Fast Company, the coronavirus is showing governments and countries that working from home can be the new standard.
“Coronavirus is going to expose more people to working remotely than ever,” said Greg Caplan, CEO of Remote Year, a company that helps businesses with working remotely. “Most people will see that it is very possible and start to grow accustomed to the benefits of [remote work], including autonomy, no commute, and less distractions than open offices. Companies that don’t allow remote work already are going to have to continue supporting it going forward, now that they have proven to themselves that it works.”
Some believe that telecommuting forces people to stay more connected to the teams and people they work with.
“Our individuals and managers make more conscious efforts to clarify roles, expectations, and to discuss progress with remote employees,” said Shanna Tellerman CEO of Modsy, an E-interior design company. “Our remote employees rank 5% higher than office employees when asked if they know what is expected of them at work. They also rank 5% above office employees when asked if they have had discussions with their managers about progress in the past six months.”
Many remote workers thrive on routine and discipline and as a result, will often complete work assignments faster than if they were in-office. Madeline Kelley, a global enterprise sales manager, told Fast Company she’s far more productive and effective as a remote worker “Because no one is around to hold you accountable, you have to be accountable for yourself.”
“I spend most of my days in my apartment—with my two dogs—on sales calls, replying to emails, and having internal video meetings. And I always manage to get everything done.” Kelley added.
Another advantage of telecommuting is the cost. Businesses across the world pay thousands in rent for office space. Meanwhile, mass transit or gas and food costs are just a few of the daily expenses for employees. Being able to save on office space is a great way for companies to save money while paying their workers more at the same time.
“Most companies spend 10 to 15% of revenue on rent. We use that savings to pay our employees above-market wages,” said Chris Neumann, who started his company, Cro Metrics, with a remote workforce in 2011. “We are providing really great jobs that team members would otherwise not have access to, and in return, we are able to attract the best talent from around the country.”
While the news is good for those who can work from home, for African Americans, the chances of working from home are lower than most races. Making things worse, is that low-wage workers are putting themselves at a greater risk for contracting the virus.