Work Has Changed Profoundly After the Pandemic
To work at home is no longer a strange choice
Do you remember how remote work was seen before all the COVID-19 struggle? Some people may have not even noticed, others may have seen but have not given it too much importance, but from my point of view, the change of opinion and perspective related to remote work, particularly working at home, has changed dramatically.
In order to better illustrate what I am talking about, I will tell you this short story.
Working at Home Before 2020
Ten years prior to the pandemic, I had my first attempt to become a freelance writer. At that time I worked in the preparation and bottling section of a reputed multinational company that produced sauces and spices.
One day the company decided to close its activities in my country.
I went on unemployment benefits, so I had a very small income to support me until I could take off with freelancing. I desperately wanted to try. The problem was when I told my parents and my girlfriend. None of them seemed happy about this, in the sense that
“What kind of work is that? Is it even serious?”.
Back then, the concept of working at home was known only to a certain category of people, who called themself freelancers, in domains like writing and the IT business. I remember walking down the street, meeting my former workmates, asking me what do I do now. When I replied
“I work from home”,
they usually gave me had that strange look…or maybe it was more an impression. Maybe I was suffering from what is called impostor syndrome.
Work at Home in 2021 and Beyond
During the pandemic, remote work (and this means most of the time now, work at home), has become something completely normal. I was walking in my grandparent’s village, meeting neighbors who said
“How are you, are you working at home?”
and I am puzzled because I didn't even tell them that I do, but the neighbors knew other persons from the village who are in the IT business. It seems they too worked from home for a period of time because their companies decided to give work remotely until the dangers of the pandemic are gone. There were also pleasant consequences of this change. Many employees said that they were more efficient when working at home than at the office.
Even at the IT company that I was working for after the pandemic, all employees from all departments had remote work written in their contracts: financial, programming, marketing, etc.
“It has become mainstream! ”
I said to myself, laughing and having a feeling of accomplishment. The truth is I was way ahead of my time, so to speak, doing something that now has become the norm and everybody was against back then. I am joking about being ahead of my time, but…seriously, am I not right?
Let’s face it, people were freelancers since the beginning (hunter-gatherers) and also worked at home (farmers, blacksmiths, craftsmen). It is not something new. What is new is the way work is done.
It is in fact remote work. It has been available before to those who wanted to be freelance writers, freelance programmers, freelance designers, etc. Today, it has become a trend.
You can grab the “mission objectives” from the office, through the internet, and perform the work on your own computer, at home, in a coffee shop, on a beach, or whenever you have the possibility to do this.
What has changed profoundly is our perspective on work. Working at home is no longer stigmatized.