The pandemic-induced stay-at-home orders have forced many people to commit to owning a personal computer (PC). Between Zoom meetings, club meetings, and just general online work, it has become almost necessary to buy a device with more power and control than your smartphone.
According to Gartner, worldwide Personal Computer shipments grew 10.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 4.8 percent for the year. This sustained consumer demand resulted in the highest global PC market growth in a decade.
“The worldwide PC market saw a strong finish to 2020, recording a third consecutive quarter of year over year growth, although there continued to be supply shortages due to this high demand,” said Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner. “Robust consumer PC demand again drove sales, particularly in regions where governments maintain stay-at-home orders as the COVID-19 pandemic persists.”
The pandemic will inevitably wind down and some jobs will require their employees to return to an in-person work environment. However, many companies are opting to save money on the office space and keep their employees at home.
A New York Times article titled “Remote Work Is Here to Stay. Manhattan May Never Be the Same” explains that NYC has undergone serious structural business changes due to the remote nature of the pandemic. Salesforce, owner of a 630-foot building, only expects workers to show up a few days a week. The article also mentions that a nearby law firm, Lowenstein Sandler, is debating on whether it’s worth renewing the lease on its office that once held 140 lawyers working 40 hours a week.
But is all this good or bad? What is the data behind happiness when it comes to working from home? According to a study by Owl Labs, remote workers are reportedly far happier at their jobs than in-person employees and are more likely to stay in their occupations longer.
Although remote workers reported being overall happier, they also work longer hours. Remote employees reported working over 40 hours per week, 43 percent more than non-remote workers.
Better work-life balance (91 percent), increased productivity/better focus (79 percent), less stress (78 percent), and to avoid a commute (78 percent) were the reasons respondents said that they decided to work remotely, according to the survey.
Despite more work and a new slew of technical complications, employees have become too exhausted by the grind of traditional life to continue onward when given a choice to work from home.
Spending an hour in commuter traffic and paying tolls and parking fees just to sit on a computer when you have one at home doesn’t make much sense. Of course, many occupations will always require their employees to be in person. Any job where you work with your hands or are in a constant team environment will likely require it. However, the masses are waking up to the nonsensical nature of driving to use someone else’s computer when you have your own at home. Business owners are waking up as well to the fact that paying thousands of dollars for office space is forcing an old mindset into a modern world that requires contemporary innovation to remain agile.
The Owl Labs survey also found that employees are more loyal to companies that offer them increased flexibility.
The remote workers surveyed said that they’re likely to stay in their current job for the next five years, a large 13 percent more than in-person employees responded.
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