Is Work-From-Home Over? Answering This Question and Others - Trending Vibe Trending Vibe

Is Work-From-Home Over? Answering This Question and Others

Workers and Employers have some thoughts

Spring 2022 is looking a lot different from Spring 2020 for much of the country. Aside from some concentrated areas, COVID case rates and hospitalizations are going down, more and more people have been vaccinated and immunity is growing. Also, after two long years of many self-isolating, some are ready to get back into the world to make up for lost time.

At the pandemic’s beginning, the world of work started shifting. Many office workers changed jobs, pivoted, or were told to work from home. What followed was a systemic shift across workers from varying industries, education levels and backgrounds. Increasing numbers of people quit with nothing lined up. People are doing a double-take of what work means to them. By and large, workers want to work in places that pay and treat people fairly, plus align with their values. That goes from everyone from restaurant bussers to accountants and everyone in between.

On the other hand, employers, especially at the leadership level, are questioning the value of work-from-home (WFH) arrangements, which is a given when some are still paying sky-high office rent prices and the varying perceptions of how effective not having people in the office at least 5 days a week brought. In short, work is changing, and workers and thoughtful employers have questions. We will try our best to touch on some of these topics below.

Is WFH Over?

Every week, it seems like there are headlines that major employers, especially in the tech space, are calling people back into the office, sometimes with more perks than before. It has had employees and those outside tech alike question if WFH is really over. For some sectors, it very well may be, but there are plenty of employers who are embracing this newfound shift and either letting people be fully remote or hybrid, whichever they prefer. The longevity of this concept remains to be seen, but, for some portion of workers, WFH may always be an option. Also, for some workers with employers who are adamant that they return to the office, that has been a wake-up call for them to start looking for something new that aligns more with where (and how) they work.

What Happened to People Who Changed Jobs?

It looks like not all is rosy for those who decided to change jobs during the height of the pandemic. Two out of five workers in a survey have regrets for leaving their former employer behind. Around 20 to 40 percent of those who are currently employed plan to job search this year, and about a quarter are those who already made a switch within the last year.

Another portion of workers think they made a smart move by changing employers, whether that is for better pay, a better working arrangement or a more positive work culture, but current attitudes reveal the need of potential employees to do their due diligence when it comes to making their next move.

Looking to Change Jobs? What to Keep in Mind

On that note, if you have the interest in looking for a new job, be sure to not let your judgement be clouded by sales-y pitches, perks like free food to cover up long working hours and the idea of “just any” new job. When looking for a new position, keep the following in mind:

  • The job duties/responsibilities: Is the job a lateral move or a step up or down? Will it help you with your career goals?
  • Salary: Is the pay aligned with the prospective responsibilities and job duties? Is it fair?
  • Work Policies: Is it all WFH, hybrid, in-office 5 days a week, or something else? Are policies subject to change, and do they align with what you want? Or, is one or the other a deal-breaker to you?
  • Where you are at: Are you content where you are at, and just looking to make a change because “everyone else” is? Does your current role (and the ones in which you are interested) help you achieve your professional goals? Why or why not?
  • Location: Is the job located somewhere where you can move or want to be located?

What to Do if You Get Called Back into the Office

The reality of being called back into the office has hit many workers. If you are one of many who have (or will soon be) called back into the office—studies say that about 50% of employers want to permanently end WFH—, think about your options. If you absolutely do not agree with doing so, see if you can talk with your supervisor or manager to work out an arrangement that would let you either work fully remote or reduce the number of in-office days you would be expected to follow. If they will not bend to your request, consider looking for a new job that makes it clear you could work remotely.

If you are okay with going in, think about what you need to do to mentally prepare to make the transition. Do some of your habits need to change? What do you need to keep in mind?

In this scenario, there are many things you could be doing, but choose the best one for you!

The Future of Work

If anything from the past two years is certain, it is that the future of work can (and will) change. Long gone are the days of complete employee loyalty, the 9-5, employees staying silent and employers having the upper hand. The most progressive companies will continue to attract and retain talent due to their policies, while old-school employers will likely be left in the dust or struggle to find enough workers. As for which staples of the COVID era remain years from now, we can only guess, but stay tuned for the latest!

Spread the word. Did you find it useful to learn about what is next for employers and workers? Feel free to bookmark or post to your timeline for reference later!

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