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How WFH Will Change the Office

How WFH Will Change the Office

Is heading back to the office after working from home for over a year making you feel a little anxious? For the last year and some change, we have discussed in great detail how the pandemic is altering the workforce. But as offices begin to open back up, it’s time to discuss how working from home for the last 12+ months will change the office environment. Here is how WFH will affect working in the office.

More flexibility

Most people WFH have experienced more flexibility: flexible working hours, more accommodations, and less direct supervision. As we transition back to work in the office, this additional flexibility isn’t going anywhere. Giving employees more space and freedom has fostered better work-life balances, more creativity, and better overall work satisfaction. If employers want to keep their workforce happy, they cannot just brush this flexibility under the rug.

Managers will be more accommodating moving forward to fit the needs of their staff better. A typical 9 to 5 isn’t the ideal schedule for many workers. As we continue to adjust to our new “normal,” companies will be more supportive of individual needs. For example, if you need to work remotely once a week to be present for your kids, chances are employers will be more supportive and understanding. More flexibility will help employers better manage hybrid workforces and offer equal leniency to all their staff members.

Relaxed dress code

How many of you enjoyed working from home in your lounge wear or shorts and a t-shirt? It’s really nice to ditch the formal business wear and enjoy a more relaxed dress code. As we return to the office, you can expect a more casual dress code. And I am not just talking about casual Fridays – I am talking about a permanent dress code change. Employees can be just as productive in blue jeans and a shirt instead of business casual. It may be a small change, but this is one that workers will appreciate and feel more comfortable at work.

Employers taking better care of their staff

One thing that will separate good employers from excellent ones is how they take care of their staff. Besides additional flexibility and dress code changes, employers are actively looking for ways to support their teams. One example of this is LinkedIn closing up shop the week of April 5th for a paid vacation for their entire workforce. In an effort to recharge and avoid burnout, LinkedIn is providing this paid week off to take care of their employees during a stressful time. Other companies are also offering mental health days to keep their employees happy, healthy, and productive.

Interested in exploring new opportunities?

These are just three of the fundamental ways WFH will change the office. If you are looking for a new opportunity with an employer that takes better care of their team, check out our job board. We have hundreds of exciting roles across North America with fantastic employers!

WFH burnout

3 Signs You’re on The Verge of A WFH Burnout

Show of hands: how many of you remote workers thought you would still be working from home in November? Yeah, neither did I. It has been a long eight+ months for most of us, and what seemed like a nice treat might be the bane of your existence. Working from home can be fantastic, but millions of remote workers are on the edge of a burnout. However, with a few tweaks in your day and good habits, you can combat this feeling and keep productivity rolling strong. Here are three signs you are on the verge of a WFH burnout (and how to avoid them).

You haven’t established WFH boundaries

Not everyone has the luxury of a quiet, at-home office to work from. In reality, you are probably working on your dining room table or the couch. And while your temporary setup might have been nice in the beginning, the lack of boundaries is starting to diminish your productivity. However, you may not have that leisure if you are also trying to facilitate your children’s distant learning or keep your dog entertained.

No matter what your work setup is, you have to set boundaries for yourself. Establish working hours (if possible) and create a space where all you do is work. If your entire home and day consist of working, you will quickly start to feel burnt out. Create healthy boundaries for yourself to improve your mental health, productivity, and job satisfaction.

You feel the need to respond instantly

While working from home, it is easy to feel the guilt of not responding to an IM or an email right away, even if it’s after your “working hours.” I get it; it’s hard to resist the urge to reply to a co-worker when you are off work but just a few feet away from your laptop. This is where you need to exercise self-control. It’s okay to read the message, but that doesn’t mean you have to respond right away. Of course, if it’s a work emergency, go ahead and reply. However, if it’s just a normal message, it can probably wait until tomorrow.

So many remote workers are on the verge of a burn out by always being available. It’s easy to do so or just think to yourself, “it will only take a few minutes. I can respond to that now.” But after eight months, that mentality starts to take a toll on you. Just like when working in the office, you are not always available, and that is okay. We must realize that we don’t need to instantly respond to every message to prove that we are working. If you struggle with this, put your email on do not disturb, or set quiet hours so that you don’t even see the messages come through at a time you set for yourself.

You don’t take any time off

It can be challenging to take time off right now. Let’s be frank; there isn’t a whole lot to do as far as vacations go. Regardless of our current circumstances, it is essential for your mental health and productivity to take time off. We earn vacation and PTO days for a reason; don’t be afraid to use those days to take a step away from all the chaos and relax. Even if you are just hanging out at home, taking a day off here and there is so rewarding. It makes you feel refreshed when you return to work and will help avoid WFH burnout.

And this doesn’t have to be a week-long vacation. This can be taking a Friday off to make a long weekend or taking a half-day to go enjoy some nice weather. So, if you have the time off, don’t be afraid to use it. The longer you put off carving out time for yourself, the closer you will be to a WFH burnout.

Stay Productive While Working from Home

How to Stay Productive While Working from Home

Are you still working from home? If so, you are definitely not alone. Millions of workers across the country have been working from home for over four months. Some of us are thriving in our new work environment, while others may be feeling burnt out. The days are blending together, our kids will likely be going back to school soon, and the lines between work and home are getting a little blurry. As a result, your productivity may be a bit lackluster. If this sounds like your current situation, here are a few tips to stay productive while working from home.

Establish a schedule

You may have a little more flexibility while working remotely; however, you should establish a schedule and stick to it. Try to wake up at the same time and stick with a morning routine, whatever that may look like. Essentially, you should treat your day as you would if you were heading to the office. Wake up, make some coffee, do a quick workout, or whatever you typically do before making your way to the office. Establishing a schedule will help make your workday feel more consistent and boost your productivity all day long.

Create a to-do list the day before

One of the best tips for staying productive while working from home is to make a to-do list the night before. How many times have you woke up, got ready, sat down at your desk, and started stressing about what you need to accomplish? I know I have been there before. Instead of wasting time to figure out what you are doing, create a to-do list the night before of all the essential tasks you need to get done. That way, you start the day off on the right foot and already have a roadmap of your workday. It will help you stay productive while WFH and will make a significant difference in your day.

Tackle the most important things first

If you start making a daily to-do list, this should be easy! When you walk into “the office,” review your to-do list. Carefully decide which task you are going to work on first. One mistake many of us make is tackling the easiest tasks first to get them achieved. Research suggests that this gives workers a “completion high,” but also a false sense of productivity. A recent study of doctors in an East Coast emergency room found that doctors who completed more difficult tasks first were more productive in the long run. However, if you get a “high” from crossing things off of a list, break your more challenging tasks into milestones that you can cross off as you go!

Remote Work Affect Salaries

Will Remote Work Affect Salaries?

There is no disputing the coronavirus’ impact on the economy and labor market. Economists, healthcare professionals, and others have speculated about the lasting effects of this pandemic. However, one thing that is certain is that millions of workers worldwide have been working from home (WFH) since mid-March. With confirmed cases surpassing 4 million in the U.S. this week, working remote might be a permanent transition. So, how will this shift to remote work affect salaries? It’s a little early to tell, but here is what may happen if this trend continues.

WFH workers are relocating

According to a recent study from Pew Research Center, nearly a fifth of U.S. adults has moved due to COVID-19 or know someone who did. The survey found that 37% of those ages 18 to 29 say they moved, someone moved into their home, or know someone who moved because of the outbreak. Many of these young professionals are relocating away from big cities, such as New York City, and escaping to less populated locations, such as the Midwest. These rural locations offer quiet, wide-open spaces and an affordable cost of living. But will your employer continue to pay your massive big-city salary in cheaper rural areas? Are employers going to start cutting wages for workers that move to regions with a more reasonable cost of living?

The price of the big cities

Living in big metropolitan areas definitely have their appeal – more culture, restaurants, activities, nightlife, and of course, larger salaries. According to a recent study, employers in America’s costliest cities pay at least 40% more for white-collar jobs than the average wage in other regions of the country. For example, a graphic designer makes an average of $31.67 an hour in the top 15 biggest cities versus an average hourly wage of $21.09 in all other regions. Yet, according to the report, “When firms in the highest-priced cities hired workers living in cheaper towns, they tended to pay almost 19% more than the person would earn locally.”

To break this down, workers make more in larger cities, regardless of whether they work locally or remotely. However, that salary range is still enormous. Using the pay scale for a graphic designer, a professional in that field would make 19% more working remotely for a company in a big city. That’s a little more than $4 more an hour, which is a much lower wage than the local workers of big cities making over $10 more an hour.

How will remote work affect wages?

This begs the question: will employers begin to change wages for remote workers to reflect their employees’ cost of living? Facebook is already moving its hiring efforts to focus on remote work to lower its payroll costs. Will other large companies follow through? More professionals working from home may reduce or even fix the insane pay disparity our country faces in some areas. As a result, professionals may consider moving out of expensive cities like NYC and moving to locations with a better quality of life, affordable rents, and overall better happiness ratings.

Time will tell how this virus will ultimately impact our wages across the country. Still, it is worth considering if you are currently working remotely and considering a move to a different region.

How remote work might impact your salary

post-pandemic company

How to Make Your Post-Pandemic Company Better Than Before

COVID-19 has been a very tricky time for companies around the world to navigate. Businesses needed to do things they have never done before, like work from home, attend video conference calls, and experience a lapse in breakroom donuts. As we strive into the future together, we cannot revert to the same ways; let COVID-19 be an opportunity for a better, brighter future for your company. Here are five things your organization can do to make your post-pandemic company even better than before.

Increased Flexibility

COVID-19 has shown us the importance of workplace flexibility, and now, it is no longer a benefit, but an expectation from employers. In a survey from Zenefits, they found that 77% of workers have flexibility as a top priority in their job search, which means offering a flexible workplace will be crucial to hiring great talent. The transition to a more flexible working environment must happen quickly because about 30% percent of workers have left jobs due to their lack of flexibility. 

So, the spectrum of flexibility will vary from team to team. Still, you can offer flexibility with better PTO policies, WFH benefits, and empathy for sick employees – because if this pandemic taught us anything, it is to stay home when you feel sick! 

Enhanced Digitization

The quickness of the pandemic pushed workers around the world to dial in on their digital skills. Suddenly, workers needed to establish a WFH office to maintain a “normal” workday. For a boost in efficiency, we expect an increase in video conferences and other technologies to make your workforce more agile. Make the necessary investments in the technology your post-pandemic company needs to keep the ball rolling and your team more productive.

An Overload of Sanitizer

Once everyone returns to the office, workplace hygiene will be at an all-time high. Employees washing their hands and sanitizing throughout the day will become habitual, and honestly, completely necessary. An overload of hand sanitizer and other cleaning routines should be encouraged to ensure the safety of all employees.

Clear Expectations

Transitioning into a post-pandemic world will have its own set of challenges. It is different than it was previously, and you need to lay out clear expectations for what you want from your employees. Clear communication and building trust with your team will be essential as we start to return to work.

Laid-Back Dress Code

Professional outfits hit the back burner while WFH parents had to work from home and watch their children. As we transition to a new normal, there’s a trend toward casual dressing. If appropriate, relax your dress code protocol to make your team feel a little more comfortable as they return.

So, let’s reimagine your post-pandemic company: more flexible, caring, and safe. Relax the strict workplace rules that have been around for decades and offer your employees a workplace experience that they won’t want to leave.

working from home

Will You Be Working from Home Permanently?

Working from home has become the new norm for millions of Americans over the last couple of months, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. However, even as states begin to reopen, some companies are extending their work from home (WFH) policies throughout the summer. Others are pushing them out until 2021. For example, Google and Facebook have both extended their work from home policies until this fall. Some companies, like Twitter, are making WFH a permanent option. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, just announced that he is allowing his employees to work remotely permanently, even after the pandemic is over. So, will you be working from home permanently? Or, are you counting down the seconds until you can head back to the office?

The work from stigma is fizzling out

Many employers that were once against working from home have turned over a new leaf. With millions forced to work remotely because of stay at home orders imposed by our states’ governors, most employers did not have a choice. As a result, companies are changing their tune on letting their employees work remotely. This shift will have a significant, lasting impression on the modern-day workforce for years to come. Employers that once refused to let their team operate remotely are now hiring new employees for remote positions. In fact, job postings for remote positions were up 42% on LinkedIn in March. This trend will likely increase, even after we overcome this virus.

The benefits of working from home

Millions of Americans are getting the privilege of WFH for the very first time. And the majority of them are enjoying it. A recent study from ZDNet found that 40% of workers would prefer to work remotely full-time in the future. Furthermore, working from home has improved the productivity and communication of many workers. A report from USA Today found that 54% of workers are more productive than when working in the office. This result is due to the time saved from commuting, as well as fewer distractions and meetings.

With a positive impact on our workforce, don’t be surprised if more employers begin to offer remote work in the future.

Looking for ways to stay productive while working remotely?

Working remotely is definitely an adjustment for many of us. And although there are tons of good things coming to fruition because of this newfound productivity working from home, others are struggling to make this transition. If you need a little help boosting your WFH productivity, check out our blog on how to effectively work from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.