Don't Want to Return to In-Person Work? 3 Options to Pursue

by Maurie Backman | Published on July 25, 2021

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Some people don't want to give up remote work. Here's what to do if you're one of them.

When the coronavirus outbreak first struck, a lot of people were told to pack up their desks and prepare to work from home for a number of weeks. And in many cases, a number of weeks evolved into well over a year.

In fact, a lot of people who started working from home back in February or March of 2020 are still doing their jobs remotely, and while some may be itching to get back into an office, you might feel different. At this point, you might be used to remote work, and you may appreciate the added flexibility it gives you. Plus, if you have kids, working from home might make it so you're spending less on childcare.

If your employer wants you to come back to the office but that's not what you want, it pays to speak up about it. But if that fails, here are some other options that might allow you to continue working remotely while securing a steady stream of income.

1. Get a gig job instead

When you're a salaried worker, you get to enjoy the stability of a regular paycheck hitting your bank account every week. When you're a gig worker, your income can vary -- a lot. But if you want the option to continue working from home and your employer won't allow for it, then becoming a gig worker may be your next best solution. These days, it's possible to do quite well in the gig economy, especially if you have a business idea you can run with. But even if you don't, there are plenty of businesses out there that want contractors to write web content or design websites, just as a couple of examples, and that's the type of work that can easily be done remotely.

2. See if your company will hire you as an independent consultant

Your company may decide that as a matter of policy, all employees must start reporting to the office again. But what if you're not an employee, but rather, a contractor? If so, you'll lose certain perks, like health insurance, paid time off, and other benefits that employees get, but you might also get the freedom to do your work from wherever you please.

3. Try to negotiate a hybrid arrangement

Some companies are calling employees back to the office because they feel that remote work doesn't lend itself to the same level of collaboration and productivity. But if you really want to keep working from home, you can try asking your manager to consider a hybrid arrangement -- one where you come into the office, say, three days a week, but do your job remotely the rest of the time. Your boss might agree to that compromise, and that way, you'll get more flexibility in your schedule.

At this point, going back to an office may seem like a tough transition. If you're really opposed to returning to in-person work, then it pays to explore other solutions -- those that allow you to maintain a better work-life balance as things slowly but surely get back to normal.

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