Remote Work Revolution: Pandemic Alters American Working Norms

Remote Work Standing Desk

Remote Work Revolution: Pandemic Alters American Working Norms

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly reshaped the American work landscape, transitioning many employees from office cubicles to home office setups. The shift towards remote work, once seen as a temporary measure, has now become a prevalent mode of operation. Timothy Golden, a management professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, explains that the pandemic has revolutionized our perception of work, making remote work not only acceptable but also expected.

Recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor reveal that about 34% of Americans worked remotely at least part of the time in 2022. This figure represents a significant increase from the pre-pandemic percentage of 24% in 2019. Several prominent companies, including Amazon, Apple, Meta [Facebook], and Disney, have reintroduced in-office work for a portion of the week. Goldman Sachs reported in October 2022 that over two-thirds of its employees had resumed full-time in-office work.

However, the shift back to the office has not been met with universal approval. Cathleen Swody, an organizational psychologist and managing partner at Thrive Leadership, reports that many employees are resisting the compulsory return to full-time office work. After three years of proving their productivity and reliability while working from home, these employees feel their competence is being unfairly questioned.

Golden, who has spent over two decades studying remote work, observes that this transition underscores the enduring struggle between managerial control and employee autonomy. Many managers feel uneasy about not being able to physically supervise their employees, which challenges their sense of control.

A 2022 survey by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company found that 58% of 25,000 American respondents had the option to work from home at least one day per week. Of these, 87% chose to do so. According to Ryan Luby, an associate partner at McKinsey & Company, most employees prefer a blend of remote and in-office work. This hybrid model allows them to maintain a reasonable commuting distance while enjoying the flexibility of working from home.

Interestingly, Luby notes that many employees value this flexibility more than wage increases, presenting an opportunity for employers to manage wage growth concerns by offering flexible work options. Moreover, the newest members of the workforce – recent college graduates – have entered the job market with different expectations. Having started their careers amid the remote work trend, they are more likely to seek jobs offering remote or hybrid work options.

With an electric height adjustable standing desk or the best sit stand desk, employees can create a comfortable and productive workspace at home. The health benefits of an electric stand up desk include improved posture and reduced risk of sedentary lifestyle diseases.

In conclusion, experts agree that a full-time return to the office is unlikely for most workers who have experienced remote work during the pandemic. The convenience offered by technology and the advantages for both employees and employers are too significant to ignore. As Swody puts it, “The horse has been let out of the barn… It’s going to be very hard to go back to where we were.

author avatar
Guy Director
Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ergomotion Director since 2005.

Google Reviews

Ergomotion

Google Reviews

Josh Oliver 04/02/24

Google
I've had an ergomotion desk for 10 years. It's still as good today as it was brand new. Over the years Guy has always responded promptly to any guidance I've needed (mostly help putting the desk back together after removalists take it apart).

Michael Cheung 18/01/24

Google
Great service from Guy and the team at Ergomotion! Helped with all my queries and was able to source a standing desk part for me when many others weren't able! Highly recommend!

Shao Lei 30/11/23

Google
Decent desk and awesome service. Highly recommend

Rod Hathway 10/11/23

Google
Awesome experience. Great value, super customer experience, ordered, assembled and picked up in 24 hours!

Dom K 06/11/23

Google
Skip the big name brands and buy from Guy instead, 10/10 linak parts with a very well built tabletop.

Chris Wu 06/11/23

Google
I purchased the edesk from Guy at Ergomotion. Guy was a pleasure to deal with and the desk arrived the next day. Guy was highly knowledgeable on the desk and provided very prompt support on the installation. I can highly recommend Ergomotion.

Albert Altit 29/09/23

Google
Excellent quality and superb Customer service. Guy walked us through the options and benefits of each and enabled us to easily decide on which option we wanted.

Installation was a breeze - Guy did a fantastic job !!

Long Hei Tai 15/09/23

Google
Guy is very helpful on my inquiry. The desk is very good in quality and I love it very much.

Thai Nguyen 03/09/23

Google
This is the second desk I have ordered to cater for my growing business. I find the quality of the products excellent and definitely an investment for the future. Great and efficient service and very helpful from the ordering process to the delivery process also. Thank so much to Guy who did a great job with following up and providing updates every step of the way.

GT 01/09/23

Google
Brilliant product, realisable and fast delivery. Thanks guy and the team.
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