Editorials

Why Ending Work from Home Might be a Bad Idea?

The COVID pandemic has changed our lives forever. Now even though we are looking at the end of this pandemic, the lessons and techniques that humanity learned during this time are here to stay with us. An example of this can be the trend of work from home and online classes, which were the two main aspects that allowed the economy and education sector to sustain in a time when workplaces and schools both were closed. It was trends like these that helped save many from unemployment and saved the educational career of many students.

Even though today things are going back to normal and workplaces have opened back as well still many people are preferring to work from home or are following a hybrid work model as shown in stats. According to a recent study, 72% of people prefer working through a hybrid model in which they can work from home and office on alternate days, while 13% of the US workforce prefer always working from home. Only 12% prefer to always work from an office.

But there is one thing to note here, work from home is entirely dependent on the web. And for that to go smoothly remote workers should have access to a high-speed and stable internet connection in order to do their work properly. For that we recommend remote workers to go with providers like Cox Communications which has a track record of providing exceptional internet services, plus, Cox plans are carefully crafted keeping in view the requirements of every type of user.

Support for Work from Home

Talking specifically about the time of COVID, 73% of people who started working from home in 2020 claimed it a success both in terms of productivity and employee satisfaction, and 32% of people that newly started working from home people would prefer it permanently.

As a long-term effect of this trend, it’s expected that the amount of office space rented in the next three years will drop by 30% due to low demand, and 22% of Americans will work from home primarily by 2025, this is an amazing stats which shows the approval rate of work from home by 87% more than it was before the pandemic. Those were a bunch of surveys on thousands of people, showing very high employee support for work from home.

Elon Musk Cancelling Work from Home

However, despite such promising results, it came as a shock for many when Elon Musk shockingly announced that all his companies will be moving away from the work-from-home policy and the entire workforce is going to be reinstated back to offices, requiring a minimum of 40 hours a week at the office. This is quite a big deal when you consider the number of companies and workforce that Musk has.

Taking into consideration employees working at different companies owned by Elon Musk, there are 110,000 Tesla employees, 12,000 SpaceX employees, and 7,500 Twitter employees, all of which will be required to go back to the office for a regular five-day work week.

Why this Decision can be a Big Mistake

This could be a mistake on Musk’s part and here’s why this move could backfire. According to a study conducted by FlexJobs regarding the primary thing employees request from their companies. This study suggested quite peculiar results as 79% answered work flexibility, outperforming salary, or other benefits. This work from office structure is also creating a serious vacuum in the American job market as 918,000 Programming or IT-related jobs in the US are currently available that aren’t being filled right now, 920,000 engineering jobs are vacant.

Where 4.4 million is the number of people that are employed full-time as programmers, in the US today, there are 289,000 full-time mechanical engineers, and 2 million people are employed in some sort of engineering sector.

For software engineers, the unemployment rate is only 1.7%, with the majority saying they’ve declined at least one job offer. For engineers in general, the unemployment rate is 1.6%, and 3.6% is the overall unemployment rate currently for all jobs in the country.  $127,000 is the average software engineer salary in the US. $138,000 is the average for engineers in general. $56,000 is the average American’s salary. The types of jobs Tesla and SpaceX are hiring for are heavily in demand, have low unemployment rates and make over twice as much as the average median salary.

Elon Musk getting rid of work from home puts both companies in a position where people could leave or just not apply in the first place. Another big problem is experience, where more experienced staff with families prefers to work from home statistically speaking.

Why this is Setting a Wrong Example

This is bizarre, where most companies are working to accommodate for their employees to work from home, Elon Musk made the opposite decision which could cost him and a lot of other companies heavily both in the number of employees and operating costs that are taking the same decision of forcing employees to work from the office and making it mandatory. This single decision can make companies like Tesla and SpaceX lose the majority of the workforce as employees will be moving to other places or will opt for freelancing as these avenues of employment won’t bind them with similar restrictions.

Considering the employment opportunities of fields like software development that are present in abundance on remote freelancing platforms this will only lead to further brain drain and will create an even larger vacuum in these already unfilled job positions.

Another huge thing is that this decision has come from a person like Elon Musk who is highly followed in the corporate sector. Seeing big companies like Tesla, Twitter, and SpaceX making work from home mandatory will set a bad precedent and many other big firms will follow suit looking at the industry leaders. This will in turn reduce employee satisfaction all over the job market in the USA as companies who were previously providing such comfort to their employees will take it away and the huge potential of remote working that humanity discovered in the recent years would be completely wasted.

Conclusion

The abolishment of work from home or hybrid work policies is in no one’s favor. As employees also prefer to work from home according to stats as it allows them to work according to their own schedules and save miscellaneous costs like the commute to work. On the other hand, companies can also save a lot on operating expenses by allowing their employees to work from home which also improves their employee satisfaction level. According to us, this was a wrong decision by Elon Musk to force all the workforce to work from the office and he should reconsider this decision to avoid employee dissatisfaction.

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