Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Working From Home Could Become a Long-Term Trend, Data Shows

By Maurie Backman – Apr 10, 2020 at 7:48AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Though working remotely isn't for everyone, those who are thriving under that setup may appreciate the option to continue it once the COVID-19 crisis ends.

The option to work from home is usually considered a privilege, but during the COVID-19 crisis, it's become a necessity. And many employees are learning the hard way that doing their jobs remotely is easier said than done.

On the other hand, there are plenty of benefits to working from home under normal circumstances -- i.e., when there's not a global health crisis and parents aren't stuck juggling job- and child care-related responsibilities. Generally, working from home can be a huge time and money saver.

You don't have to spend what could be hours each day commuting, nor do you have to pay for that commute, whether in the form of fuel for your vehicle or a monthly bus or train pass. Working from home can also lead to a better work-life balance, and depending on your situation, possibly save you money on child care.

Woman looking at tablet; behind her is a living room with a wall unit and TV


It's therefore encouraging to see that 57% of employers say they'd consider changing their work-from-home policies on a longer-term basis if that arrangement proves productive during the current crisis, according to a recent Monster poll. And while it doesn't soften the blow of COVID-19 by any means, it could be one thing for workers to potentially look forward to once things get back to normal.

How does a long-term work-from-home setup sound to you?

Right now, the idea of working from home long term may not appeal to everyone. Some people are learning the hard way that working from home can be a frustrating, isolating experience. And those doing it while caring for kids may be itching to get back to the office.

But if you're thriving in your work-from-home setup, it wouldn't hurt to let your manager know that you're interested in maintaining it once the crisis is over. Chances are, your employer will consider that arrangement or some version of it, like a part-time remote setup.

Of course, it begs the question: How can employers really judge productivity at a time when many workers aren't operating at full capacity -- whether because they're home with kids or their minds are occupied with health concerns and they're just not totally on their game?

Ideally, employers would know to cut workers some slack right now, and also, to look past certain hiccups when assessing whether at-home arrangements can really work for the long haul. Some companies, for example, may not have ever used videoconferencing or screen-sharing tools before because the need wasn't there. But now that they've been forced into the situation, many may come to realize that these tools make remote work a more feasible option.

It's too soon to tell whether working from home will become a broader long-term practice. Right now, many companies -- and individuals -- are really just focused on taking things one day at a time, and understandably so. But we may see a shift in remote-work setups once it's safe to return to a crowded office again, and that could end up being one positive thing to come out of an otherwise dark time.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/06/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.