The culture of working from home is defined by a set of practices and expectations that differ from traditional office-based work. These include the use of digital tools for communication and collaboration including remote tracking devices and platforms, the ability to work flexible hours, and a greater emphasis on trust and accountability rather than on-site supervision. These practices have allowed many people to achieve a better work-life balance, reducing stress and improving the overall quality of life.
According to a recent survey by Buffer, a social media management company, 98% of remote workers would like to continue working from home for at least some of the time for the rest of their careers.
This reflects a growing preference for flexibility and independence, as well as the increased comfort and productivity that can come from working in a familiar environment. Additionally, 97% of remote workers would recommend working from home to others.
Another survey by Owl Labs, a remote work and video conferencing platform, found that remote workers are generally happier and more productive than their office-based counterparts. The survey found that 71% of remote workers reported being happy in their job, compared to 55% of on-site workers.
The survey also found that remote workers were more likely to feel valued by their employer, with 80% saying they felt appreciated by their manager, compared to 69% of on-site workers. This could be attributed to how remote employers put more effort into communication and it shows.
For example, it may be easy to overlook workers in an office because they are physically there. But when you’re not able to eyeball them during work, you might have the tendency to think about them more often and check in with them or simply make more effort to connect.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the culture of working from home. The Pew Research Center published that 71% of employed adults were working from home all or most of the time in December 2020, up from just 20% in January of the same year. This shift was driven by social distancing guidelines, but it has also led to a broader acceptance of remote work as a viable option.
Prior to the pandemic, remote work was more common among highly-educated and high-income workers or the ever-popular, travel influencers and digital nomads that travel and publish content for a living. However, the pandemic shut borders, killing the travel industry, but it also opened doors across all levels of education and income to remote work. Upwork, a freelancing platform, the percentage of workers who are fully remote doubled in 2021, with an estimated 36.2 million Americans working remotely.
The culture of working from home also has the potential to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Remote work can reduce or eliminate many of the barriers that can prevent individuals from marginalized groups from participating in the workforce.
For example, remote work can make it easier for people with disabilities to work, and it can also make it easier for people who live in rural areas or who have caregiving responsibilities to participate in the workforce.
Additionally, remote work can reduce bias and discrimination by focusing on the quality of work rather than on factors such as appearance or physical location. Bearing in mind these advantages to traditional office spaces, the culture of working from home is a growing trend that is likely to continue in the years to come.