Remote Work is Here to Stay Despite Vaccine NewsBy MBN Staff | Mon, 12/21/2020 - 16:03
Reports on how vaccines will be handed out is dominating the news, and this has led to a drop in shares for companies benefiting from the need for remote work, such as Zoom. Nevertheless, Reuters argues this is merely an effect of traditionally nervous markets, as remote working is indeed here for the long haul.
As many have experienced, the way we work, where and how we do it has had a profound change during the pandemic. For example, the UK’s Office of National Statistics noted that in April 2020 working from home had increased by 42 percent compared to before the pandemic. The shift took place in a timeframe of less than two months. To enable this unprecedented shift, use of software platforms for videoconferencing such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet skyrocketed. Reuters notes Zoom as a particular success story, increasing their meeting participants to 300 million in April 2020, compared to 10 million in December 2019.
Now that elaborate news on how vaccines will be handed out are spurring hopes to return to a normality, Zoom’s stocks have dropped rapidly, CNBC reported. Reuters, however, thinks this is simply a case of a nervous market reaction. According to its own research, people are indeed keen to return to the office, but only for part of the week. Survey participants indicated that they wanted to work part of their week at home and would be happy to use videoconferencing to communicate with their coworkers. Furthermore, videoconferencing technologies might see increased social use during the holidays as well. To anticipate for online holiday-season visits, Zoom and Google Meet announced they would remove the cap on free call lengths over the holidays, Reuters reported.
People hope that this new mix between working from home and the office will benefit their work-life balance. Although working from home had its advantages, 54 percent of employees mentioned their work hours had increased as a result. Sixty percent of people working from home reported that their work demand increased. As a result, 51 percent of workers felt like they were under constant pressure, and 50 percent found that work and private life became tangled. What needs to be established, however, is that this is a result of working from home in general, or a side-effect of greater job anxiety in an environment where many have lost their jobs.
One major issue employees experienced was a lack of social interactions, which help making a workday bearable. When completely absent, this understandably will make people more anxious. Now that a return to the office is once again in sight, people will once again be able to rely on their coworkers socially.
With a healthy balance between working from home and in the office videoconferencing softwares might not see as much traffic as it did during the height of the pandemic.