Preparing for the Post-Covid Era Working

Part 1: Understanding Remote Jobs, Loneliness,and Solitude

Though loneliness and solitude appear similar to us, they are not quite the same. ‘Loneliness’ has a negative connotation attached to it, but ‘solitude’ is the state of being alone and yet not lonely. Global consulting firm Korn Ferry conducted a survey in June this year among working professionals regarding various aspects of working from home and returning back to the office. As per the survey findings, 50% of the participants (among 1044 professionals) are looking forward to “camaraderie with colleagues” once they are back in the office.

Remote working is fine if it is opted for by choice but being forced to work from home is altogether a different ballgame. With the pandemic curtailing social interactions entirely, the extrovert working professionals are feeling lonely. For people who love to work around great colleagues, the concept of work-from-home is difficult, says Gianpiero Petriglieri, Associate Professor at INSEAD, in his article, “In Praise of the Office.”

But, there is always a second side to every coin. Not everyone is feeling this ‘loneliness’. There are professionals who feel miserable and invisible on the work floor. These introverts have happily accepted remote working without a second thought. For them, this new normal has also been helpful in escaping the ‘crowd’ and enjoying their work in solitary confinement.

Deloitte has revealed in a survey that 55% of employees have not witnessed any change in work productivity due to lockdown and remote working. In fact, a California-based company has been successful in tracking a 47% rise in productivity amid this pandemic-borne work from home.

One much-needed reminder here is that being alone does not necessarily mean that you have to be lonely. On the one hand, where you may have missed the work-breaks and coffee sessions with your coworkers, similarly, on the other hand, some others have gained lots. The future of working from home has brought us up close and personal with their kids, parents, plants, pets, favorite corner of the house, in short, their personal lives.

So, is the post-COVID era of working blending the ideas and emotions of being lonely and enjoying solitude? Or would there be an option to choose from the two? Which one would you prefer?

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