Working from Home After COVID-19

When the lockdown was in its early stages, JapanCultureNYC collaborated with Yvonne Burton of Burton Consulting International on a series of articles to help you adjust to working from home. (Click here to read the 16 articles posted from April 2 through May 6.) New York entered Phase 2 on June 22, and many workers are now easing their way back into their offices. But maybe not entirely.

Last week NPR reported that working from home may become a more permanent situation than we first thought saying, “. . . many employers now say the benefits of remote work outweigh the drawbacks.”

One of those benefits mentioned in the NPR article is eliminating commutes to the office. We followed up with one of our interviewees for the series, and she says her coworkers who live outside of Manhattan are actually happy about not commuting and want to stay home. Not fighting traffic or being jostled about in crowded trains certainly lessens the amount of stress workers can face on a daily basis. Although our interviewee, who lives in Manhattan, doesn’t have a commute as stressful as her coworkers’, she established a work-from-home routine so perfectly balanced that she can’t imagine returning to the office.

The article also mentioned that certain tech companies are looking into working from home permanently. As Yvonne would say, “Have laptop, will travel.” (Or work from home. Or from anywhere.)

This pandemic will change a lot of things when we come out the other side. One of them can be the whole work structure: where we work, how we work, maybe even why we work. When we speak of work in the future, it won’t automatically be assumed that it’s “office” work (big building, cubicles). Going forward, “office” will be redefined to include the home office.