Due to the coronavirus, almost all companies have abandoned the traditional office workspace for working at home for obvious safety reasons. Anyone working during the pandemic most likely is constantly buried in meetings with lower productivity than pre-quarantine. Office workspaces are great for team collaboration, which have sadly been replaced by Zoom meetings filled with time-consuming logistics. So, there have been plans to return to offices in the future, and see what the new, post-pandemic normal will be.
There are many pros and cons of both working in the office or at home. Obviously, the office poses a huge threat to the wellbeing of workers. However, working from home often has unforeseen negative effects or many needs. Many minority workers are now out of work, as few of them hold remote jobs, making the remote-workforce heavily composed of those that graduated college. Additionally, only about ½ of Americans have an extra room for a home office, with the majority having children who make it much harder to focus and stay productive. Finally, there are also issues with loyalty, motivation, and creativity when confined in one’s living quarters.
Workers are divided on these issues, and while there are proponents for all options, most workers are gunning for a hybrid model. This would be an alternative solution with workers coming in occasionally to the office, and mainly working from home. When asked how many paid work days at home workers preferred after COVID, many replied with five-days a week.
There have also been technological attempts to help the work from home situations. The Meeting Owl is a tool built by Owl Labs. Many students struggle with poor camera quality and wifi, resulting in very low resolution lectures and classes. The Meeting Owl Camera is a 360 degree camera that connects to one’s computer as a camera, speaker, and microphone. Teachers can also integrate this on their end to help guide the student’s focus to different areas of attention. Using this technology to enhance meetings may also help workers that are at home converse and brief workers at the workplace in case of a hybrid model being utilized.
While the pandemic will most likely last much longer, we can still devise solutions to our productivity and other work-from-home problems. This can be done with different models of employees clocking in tol devising technological products, to using different meeting software. Finally, having these solutions will help us prepare for the new normal caused by this pandemic, which will most likely result in many more employees opting to work from home, as many will be used to and prefer by the end of the pandemic.