How COVID-19 changed the way all of us work

Public split on working from home

Isabell Rivera OW Contributor | 7/16/2020, midnight

Workers often go through a transition phase to get used to working from home, and it's important that the home office is designed to give a working atmosphere, away from the distraction of a running TV, or clutter. But not everyone has the luxury to create a corner in their house or apartment to turn into a home office.

Nevertheless, it looks like for many this will be the future, although some businesses reopened and continue to work in “the new normal” with wearing masks and sitting 6 feet away from co-workers. Many employees are not comfortable with the idea of returning to office space, since it's now proven that COVID-19 spreads quicker indoor and lingers around longer than in outdoor areas.

According to Lerner, there are benefits as well as costs working from home. For many employees, the benefits include lower cost for travel, which contributes to better air quality; lower costs on business attire; and fewer food expenses. And of course, the freedom of creating your own schedule, which involves more free time.

For businesses, it could lower the costs for office space, and the fewer commuters could mean fewer costs for the government in replacing infrastructure.

However, Lerner said the downside includes some hidden costs, such as upgrading to high-speed internet, as well as the challenge of being a working-from-home-parent during the summer recess. And the fear of many businesses is the productivity of employees decreasing from pre-pandemic status.

Depending on state regulations and safety, employers or businesses have the right to decide if it's safe for employees to return to work, or if working from home is an option to get the virus under control.

In California, the spike in new COVID-19 related cases is extremely high, after Gov. Gavin Newsom allowed for counties to enter phase three in reopening. Although this is alarming for hospitality and entertainment establishments, many offices downtown also remain closed, doctor's offices were an exception.