One of the most significant cultural changes that the pandemic has created is the need to work full time in an office. While many workers in the tech field have the capability to work remotely, many other workers in more traditional jobs have found out that it is only necessary to work part-time in the office while working remotely other days of the week. The need to have everyone in the office every day has been shown to be unnecessary for most employers. Overlapping employees one day a week, usually on Wednesday, seems to meet the need for general staff meetings. Online technology has made collaborative work easy for employees working remotely.
The greatest benefit to remote work is a much greater work/life balance. Not having to commute to work and spending 1-2 hours a day in your car on a crowded highway is a considerable benefit for many employees. Seeing your kids off to school and not rushing home for family dinners is a nice benefit. Doing shopping during the day instead of more crowded weekend days is also a benefit. Not having to spend considerable money on gas, work clothes, and dry cleaning is a considerable cost saving.
I experienced this work transition when I retired from working in an office to doing consulting from home 17 years ago. The technology that we have today was nothing like what is available now. Not everyone had an email address and a great deal of business was still done over the phone. Phone conference calls were no substitute for Zoom calls. Business meetings were not held in my home office but at local Starbucks and Panera Breads. People loved getting out of the office to meet me over breakfast or a cup of coffee than in their offices. I quickly noticed how much more productive I was without the interruptions that frequently occurred in the office. It wasn't unusual for casual conversations with co-workers to waste 1-2 hours of the workday. The number of unproductive meetings that were held just because they had always been held was eliminated. I can remember having general and program staff meetings every week that never produced anything of significance other than being a time-waster.
Finally, the biggest benefit of remote work is not being tied to having to live in a location that is close to your workplace. What to live at the shore or the mountains and yet work for a company located in a city? No problem if you only have to show up in the office occasionally. Why have to wait till you retire to live where you want? Why only have the chance to go on vacation 2 weeks a year when you can do your job at a vacation resort just as easily as when you are at home? Talk about a silver lining to a pandemic!