Workers encountering the “work-from-home” model for the first time may find it preferable to the traditional office setting

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, companies are struggling with the shelter-in-place mandate that is critical for “flattening the curve.” It has thrown a monkey wrench into the economy, with retail establishments that are considered nonessential closed and tens of thousands of service staff and “gig” employees laid off or furloughed.

For professionals able to work remotely, the impact has been less disruptive.

One of our clients, a simulation software company focused on providing tools for engineers at automotive and aerospace companies, quickly pivoted to make its software available for “work-from-home” employees. Previously, it was only available from a licensed workstation within the enterprise. The company removed legal restraints to enable the engineers to work remotely while eliminating the need to enforce social distancing at the office.

When asked if the company would remove the work-from-home licensing agreement when the world returns to normalcy, he admitted he wasn’t sure. He thought that companies may discover that productivity isn’t impacted when workers have the tools at home. In fact, it may be enhanced in some instances.

COVID-19 may have changed the way we’ll work in the future because the proof of concept, even though it was forced upon us because of a global medical emergency, could prove the benefits and efficacy of working remotely.

Work-From-Home Pros

The work-from-home paradigm is not a new concept for the Markit Strategies & PR agency. The founder, Peggy Fenwick, understands that professional competence is what is needed in order to succeed, not a physical office with the overhead that accompanies it. She understands that her virtual agency can serve clients less expensively and just as well as agencies encumbered with the costs associated with maintaining a physical presence.

Since 2005, a collection of high-functioning industry veterans has served approximately 30 clients in the B2B space providing public relations, marketing communications and strategic planning to support business development. They are all motivated, self-directed and conscientious, working from their individual home offices.

Digital knowledge workers have known for a long time that a PC, cell phone and a good internet connection are the tools you need to succeed. Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype help maintain the social aspect of work and can create and maintain the sense of “team.” Virtual Happy Hours and other social activities via teleconferencing are a welcome respite and reduce a sense of loneliness and isolation that working individually sometimes engenders.

COVID-19 has introduced tens of thousands of workers to the evolving concept of working from home. For some, it’s an inconvenient, short-term solution, chosen out of necessity to minimize disruption in business processes, especially when it’s combined with homeschooling. For the pros at Markit Strategies, it’s a marked improvement over a daily commute to a physical location.