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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The silver lining of the pandemic


     The pandemic gave us an opportunity to slow down and re-examine our "work-life" existence.  Even for those of us that are "retired" our over-scheduled daily life suddenly stopped in many ways. Even casual trips to the grocery store pushed us to trying Instacart.  Group meetings shifted to the newly discovered Zoom.   Closed libraries caused us to use online e-books.  Some of these changes have returned to pre-pandemic patterns and others have become permanent changes.

      No where has these changes impacted our world than with how people choose to work.  Having been given the opportunity to dramatically and suddenly change the work-life balance, employees have been given the flexibility work from home in a way that didn't exist before the pandemic.  Having an extra amount of time to have breakfast and read the news rather than fighting traffic for 30 or 60 minutes each morning became wonderful.  To say nothing of not paying for gas and parking.   Business attire was replaced with working in pajamas.

      In moving from 2020 to 2023 we are experiencing the business world thinking that employees are willing to return to a pre-pandemic work world and are experiencing the employee push back.  This is taking two forms.  One is the compromise of flex time with in office work only being 2-3 days a week with the other days still being work from home.  The second is the reality that employees are only looking at working for companies that permit complete work from home.  This type of work allows employees to live wherever they like and are not tied to living in an expensive city where their emplorer is located.  The online technology is constantly developing to make work from home increasingly possible for more professions.  Just stop and think how many things you have to go to a place to transact something that you now do online.  When was the last time you went into a bank to do a bank transaction?  When did you last mail a check to pay a bill?  To say nothing about going online at 1 am to buy something online instead of driving 10 miles to a store the next day.

      The pandemic changed the world expondentially and those employers who don't recognize this reality will go the way that businesses that didn't change with the times have always gone---DOWN.  Think how the digital world destroyed Kodak and Blockbuster who got stuck in an outdated reality.

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