Many employees have set up their work from home stations across the globe as college campuses -- and professional settings -- have shifted to virtual and remote learning.
For many, remote work was the only option that their employers gave them during the pandemic in 2020 and continuing in 2021, throughout lockdowns and quarantines.
For others, layoffs were heavy and largely unannounced based on the profession they held.
Forbes.com states that “by 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely for at least five days a month.”
With working from home becoming a part of everyday life, applications like Zoom and Google Meet took off in popularity to help keep those connected with teams, classes, business partners and even family members.
With WFH comes more personal responsibility and accountability while also providing more freedom with one’s time during the work or school day.
“I thought the shift [to online and remote working] at first was a little rocky, but it was not anyone’s fault because nobody expected a thing like the Coronavirus to change our lives so quickly,” English and journalism student Sadie Clark said. “I feel like, over the last year, the idea of working remotely has been mastered and will continue to play a part in our lives forever.”
With UCA moving to hybrid and remote courses over the past year, many students juggled classes and working from home, all from their personal computers, tablets and phones.
While some are still acclimating to the changes that the pandemic brought, others are thriving with their newfound time and opportunities.
“I enjoy remote work because it gives me the opportunity to quickly transition from work to home responsibilities and gives me more hours in the day in terms of hours saved driving to and from a job site,” professional writing and communication student Leslie Steele said.
“I think the shift to online and remote working is long overdue,” Steele said. “In my experience, the corporate setting has a lot of distractions that are not conducive to productivity. I prefer to devote work time strictly to work.”
Despite developments in vaccination numbers across Arkansas, new Covid cases are climbing up to another spike, leaving those prepared to return to their in-person jobs questioning their choices and options.
“While it is a scary thought due to the news of the spreading Delta variant in Arkansas, I am excited to see people in person and have the pleasure of collaborating with a team that I can see,” Clark said. “Sometimes the communication lacks something online that it has in person.”
Regarding continuing work from home into 2022, many people are open to weighing their options with their employers, even if their preferred option is unavailable.
“I think people should be given the option [to work from home]. Some people have gotten used to it and prefer it; others may not feel safe enough by then to get out and go to a different workplace,” journalism and communication student Andraea Aguilera said. “There might have to be a compromise for employers and employees, but it’d be worth it.”