At 1MFWF, we always want to highlight work that’s happening around the country and across the globe pertaining to work flexibility. While our own blog features regular contributions from experts on this topic, we also keep an eye out for great articles elsewhere on the web. Here are some recent news items not to miss, including how coronavirus may have lifted the stigma of working from home.
NBCNews.com, Daniella Silva
The move to make remote work permanent by companies like Twitter, Facebook, and others is a harbinger of big changes in the workplace. It’s a definite upside to the coronavirus pandemic, illustrating how many industries are experiencing a sea change in how they operate.
A Gallup survey found that about 63% of U.S. employees reported working from home during the pandemic, twice as many as the previous three weeks. In the long term, how companies are operating during the pandemic may provide a blueprint for how they operate afterward. That could mean less densely populated offices, with remote workers having the option to come in a few times a week.
The shift to working from home could also lead to a legislative push to regulate remote work, including how benefits, sick leave, and other policies are implemented.
CNBC.com, Laura Wronski
Yet another survey has found that remote workers tend to be the happiest employees. The findings in the CNBC/Survey Monkey Workforce Survey show that people who work from home have a “Workplace Happiness Index Score” of 75 out of 100, compared to 71 for people who go to an office.
In general, the survey found that people whose jobs can be done remotely are likely to have higher incomes and work in industries where job satisfaction is higher. Roughly half of the people surveyed amid the coronavirus pandemic said they did not have the option to work remotely before the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential workers whose jobs could not be done remotely were among the lowest paid, the survey found.
Forbes, Jack Kelly
The work-from-home trend has “taken off” thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, and a few well-known companies are leading the way. Twitter and Facebook have made news with their new policies allowing employees to work from home permanently, and they’ve been joined by other well-known companies like Upwork, Coinbase, and Lambda Schools. In announcing its embrace of remote work, Canada-based Shopify said the company is now “digital by default,” adding that “office centricity is over.”
However, some companies are not on board with the remote work trend. Apple has requested that some of its employees return to the office. Box, a provider of cloud content management services, has put a time limit on remote work until the end of 2020, proclaiming that its workplace model going forward will be a “hybrid” one.
Medical News Today, Maria Cohut
As working from home becomes more prevalent during the coronavirus pandemic, employers should look for ways to help workers maintain their mental health in these demanding times. According to mental health experts, companies should remain vigilant for signs of mental distress that may be brought on by increased isolation and coping with remote work challenges.
To keep on top of the mental health issues for remote workers, managers should focus on changes in communication, like body language in video conference calls, and changes in written communication, including tone and less frequent engagement. Frequent check-ins and positive support to keep workers connected are other helpful strategies to consider.