Remote Work: How the Pandemic Has Marked the End of the 9-5

woman working in a coworking space

This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Aditi Mittal.


“Remote work” has possibly become one of the most used terms. The pandemic brought an unwilling overnight transition in the way companies work and had employees frantically setting up office space at home. But most importantly, it left millions across the world without a job and a definite source of income.

Many employees moved from a full-time role to contractual employment. While the results on the markets are disturbing and recovery is almost a decade away, we can’t help but notice the visible change in employees and their attitudes towards traditional work models. 

Before the pandemic, remote work was interchangeably used with the gig economy. Six months into this new setup, more and more employees are keen to exercise greater control over their working hours and their office structure with technology as the means to accelerate this change.

In this article, we pick 7 reasons to believe that COVID-19 has marked an end to the conventional 9 to 5 model.

programmer in a coworking space

1. It’s an Outdated Model

Have you ever wondered how the traditional working hours became the standard practice? The culture of 9 to 5 that still persists today has its origins in the British Industrial Revolution. Factories required a fixed schedule to maximize output from the production line.

This was the time when mostly men were working, and women were housewives supporting the careers of their husbands. Although not ideal, this traditional set up worked for those times. Today, hours are no longer a determiner of productivity.

factory

2. The Feeling of Having Life in Your Control

Keeping aside a better work-life balance, the ability to control your schedule to suit your personal needs is so empowering.

You’ll suddenly find more time on your hands to do things you weren’t able to do before such as spending more quality time with your family and friends, not missing a workout, cooking your favorite meal, learning a new language, playing your favorite instrument, and more.

3. Save the Stress

You no longer have to stress about the time wasted on commuting. Did you know the anxiety related to making it in time for a meeting is associated with health issues like increased cholesterol, higher sugar levels, and depression?

Imagine, with remote work all the physical and mental stress associated with work can be reduced and replaced by positive things that add more meaning to life.

woman holding a ball of money

4. Spend Less

You cannot discount the amount of money you’ll be saving on fuel, vehicle maintenance, public transportation, parking, and tolls. You also save money in one particular area that no one talks about- the office wardrobe! The comfort of working in your PJs can be a good stress-buster too.

5. Better Relationships with Your Colleagues

Despite the physical aloofness, colleagues are connecting with each other on a human level instead of establishing a transactional and task-based relationship. There is more empathy in the way colleagues interact.

With lesser opportunities to chit chat in the office hallways and break room, there is limited participation in office politics. This is a huge overall bonus for everyone and evidence of improvement in office cultures.

remote worker at a coworking space

6. More Effective Meetings

Think more impactful meetings with more participants that finish in a shorter duration. Technology has made meetings more effective by giving us the tools to record meetings, quickly share documents, and add comments in chat without causing any disruptions.

7. Not Feeling Confined to the Office Walls

The power to change your environment is not just energizing but can also help improve productivity. Forget the office, you’re not even tied to the walls of your own home! Have you explored any coworking spaces yet? They are affordable alternatives to office space and can help you escape the isolation of a home office or coffee shop.

They also offer an opportunity to meet like-minded people. In fact, with remote working you can take your job anywhere and enjoy the outdoors, think from the beaches of Bahamas to the Swiss Alps, you choose the view you’d like for your morning cup of coffee.

It helps once in a while to appreciate the benefits that have come in the COVID-19 era. With the reasons stated above, doesn’t the future look remote? It does appear that employees are less likely to embrace the 9 to 5 in the future. Not only is it obsolete, but it is also plain irrelevant. In hindsight, the transition that appeared to be daunting in the past was actually much faster and easier to implement.

A working style that wasn’t seamless for many has become the preferred new style of working. An important consideration is to figure out a setup and pick up habits that boost your output, reduce distractions, and make work a priority.

Keeping in mind the numerous unexpected advantages, remote work will become an employee expectation when looking for a new job. Associating with brands like Skuad, Upwork, and Fiverr can help in spotting remote work opportunities. There is a need to rectify the imbalanced working structures now and for good.

The remote working style will continue to evolve and get more effective. Technology is only going to advance and bring us all closer together virtually, across different times and continents.  This way, life is not only more productive but also more enjoyable.

About the Author

Aditi Mittal currently leads Partnerships and Growth at Skuad.

Always in a growth mode, Aditi likes leading and executing new initiatives to develop businesses. She is a startup enthusiast and takes keen interest in working with innovative deals. Her career spans across different verticals, primarily technology, strategy, expansion, and project management.

You can connect with Aditi on LinkedIn or follow Skuad on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.