The New Normal of Remote Work

The current pandemic has made us change our habits and most of the “normality” on all things enjoyed up to these days.

Are these changes bad or good? Will these be forever or temporary? Nobody knows.

What we do know is that we humans share a common capacity named adaptability.

And this is the only feature that has proven critical to our success as a species.

Ever since being simple hunter-gatherers almost 2 million years ago to the pandemics of the last 2000 years.

The one thing that has made us survive is our ability to adapt to changes.

Just like the ones we’re currently living.

The new normal of remote work in a closed world

There was a time before 2020

On December 31st of 2019, last year’s last day, I slept with the same idea of a world alike to the years that had passed.

This meant expecting your new year’s resolution to accomplish without any structural changes in your overall life.

Good health, good relationships, and good finances. Same world.

In this particular year, it wasn’t the case.

For most of us, remote workers, the road we paved with our jobs up to March 12nd of 2020, the day that the OMS declared a pandemic, was no longer going to be the same.

Things might change that much in the months afterward that the sole definition of “remote work” could not be the same as the one before 2020.

So what should we do? What are others like us doing?

The “new normal” of remote work has arrived and it might be here to stay.

Illustration of person working in a post COVID-19 society

Remote work post COVID-19

This is not meant to be an end-of-it-all guide for living your remote work life, but a compilation of facts and other people’s experiences that could click on you.

We did this because there’s no better relief than knowing that there are more people in your situation.

So, in other words: we feel better sticking to new habits collectively rather than individually. Especially in a world of remote work post COVID-19.

With that said, let’s jump straight to the numbers.

Statistics

Just in February 2020, there were 4.7 million U.S. workers who were working remotely, according to FlexJobs.

Months later, with lockdowns getting worse, these numbers exploded like never before.

Zapier reports that now half of the States are doing remote work post COVID-19.

That means a jump of more than 150 million U.S. workers, including the ones that came back from overseas. An amazing stat.

Within these, there are many companies that aren’t planning to go back to the old way.

Based on a report from Gartner, almost three-quarters of them will move at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-COVID 19.

So the changes have already started.

Zoom videoconference. Working from home during COVID-19 pandemic.

The state of remote work post COVID-19

If you’re fairly new in this way of working, the question is not what, but how.

How will my future workload be?

How will my future workplace look?

How will my work schedule be?

Well, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.

The beauty of remote work is having the benefit of adapting your work to life, and not the other way around.

So, in this case and for the sake of comparison, how are other remote workers adapting to post-COVID life?

We had the opportunity to gather the inputs of 2 people with plenty of experience working this way, to tell us what have they changed in their lives lately.

These were their answers.

Kelsey Shiriff (kelseycreating.com)

A photo of Kelsey Shiriff

Kelsey is a web designer, writer, social media strategist, and graphic designer (wearing all the hats!).

She’s currently based in Portland, Oregon after she lived for a time in Mexico.

Has COVID-19 changed your workload?

Kelsey: It’s actually increased and diversified, but that’s because I really just started doing web design a few months ago, and my clients all have their own businesses—so many have had more time at home to focus on them.

Has COVID-19 changed your workplace? If it has, where from?

Kelsey: The past 1.5 years I was working remotely as a digital nomad primarily in Mexico. Once the pandemic started, I didn’t want to be stranded indoors in a hot beach town, so I actually moved in with my parents for a couple of months in Minnesota. I recently just moved back out to Portland, Oregon, where I was living previously.

Which has been your optimal work schedule during the pandemic?

Kelsey: As a creative person, my hours vary A LOT. Sometimes I work for 10 hours a day, late into the night, over the weekends… it really depends on what projects I’m doing and when I feel inspired. I try to work from about 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. throughout the week.

Where has been your favorite workplace during this pandemic?

Kelsey: Well I’m not sure I’d classify it as a “favorite” (lol) but I’ve created a standing desk in my room, and have spent a lot of time at dining room tables. Nothing’s open, otherwise, you’d find me in the coffee shop!

How do you see YOUR new normal of remote work?

Kelsey: Not ALL that different from before, except I’m not traveling the world living a wild and exciting life 😀 Hopefully I can get it back sometime soon!

Sthefani Ovalle (@tefiovalle)

Photo of Sthefani Ovalle

Sthefani works as a customer support manager for an email marketing service provider.

She’s currently based in Mexico City after traveling all around the world.

Has COVID-19 changed your workload?

Sthefani: Completely. Since COVID lots of businesses are going digital, the workload has gone up.

Has COVID-19 changed your workplace? If it has, where from?

Sthefani: Not really. I am used to working from home all the time, but I do have the limitation of not being able to work from a cafe or travel around and work from the beach.

Which has been your optimal work schedule during the pandemic?

Sthefani: My schedule didn’t change much as well, I usually work from 9 to 5.

Where has been your favorite workplace during this pandemic?

Sthefani: I moved into a new apartment that’s full of light. I haven’t been able to get out of my room, it is so bright and green in there that I love it.

How do you see YOUR new normal of remote work?

Sthefani: I cannot wait for this pandemic to end and start traveling again. I’m pretty used to work from home, but I love meeting new people and going to new places. I cannot wait for a bit of sun again!

What about you?

Picture of finger pointing at you

As you could see with these 2 examples, most of us remote workers and humans overall doesn’t fit on a single size.

For many, this pandemic has been a line break in terms of new schedules and workplaces. But for many others, it hasn’t changed anything at all.

The only constant in this has been a limit on its travels (for those used to be on the road).

So smile to the life and keep working! We’ll get out of this soon.

Oh, and if you’re now planning any trip to Mexico within the next months, be sure to check out U-Co Roma for your stay.

In fact, both Kelsey and Sthefani stayed with us and became friends for it.

Thanks to them and you for reading us! See you the next time.

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