Is Remote the New Normal Amid Covid-19?

If you think back to only one year ago, it may be hard to imagine a remote world. But amid the pandemic, remoteness is quickly becoming the new normal. 

Remote Learning

The debate continues over whether or not to allow children back at school. A percentage of the population wants them back at school, while others agree to either a hybrid approach (equally divided time in and out of school) or virtual learning. With the virus still threatening the livelihoods of millions of Americans (with the elderly at greatest risk), it’s not an easy decision for those within the school system. There are pros and cons to both scenarios. If the children stay at home they can’t potentially contact the virus and pass it on to parents, grandparents, and caretakers. However, if children stay at home, many parents won’t be able to return to work. 

Remote Business Practices

The pandemic is affecting many businesses in a variety of ways. Law firms who use sworn testimony as evidence to move forward with their case now do this process remotely. The remote depositions contain both parties’ attorneys, a court reporter, and the person being deposed. 

People employed by large corporations in big cities are having their staff work remotely, many for the rest of the year. They have systems in place for things like live weekly meetings and conference calls and programs that employees can use from their home computers. However, there are many challenges, such as training new employees and monitoring employees, especially those without the discipline to work on their own. On the employee end, there’s a frustration on the inability to reach and connect with superiors regarding day-to-day issues that may transpire. It’s a new world and, while businesses are creative and adapting rapidly, there are still kinks to work through.

Healthcare for Patients 

The pandemic made it difficult for patients to see their doctor for things like routine office visits. Monitoring pre-existing conditions such as heart problems, high blood pressure, and diabetes are now, for the most part, done remotely through the use of Facetime or Skype. This allows doctors and nurses to review and then administer medications and treatments going forward. One group of people particularly affected is the elderly, who often seek out assistance from their children for devices to maintain in contact with their physicians. 

Remote Becoming the New Normal

The virus brings to light the necessity of having systems in place to work remotely. Though nearly 25 percent of the working population was already working remotely, for 75 percent, this is something new. Systems falter and not everyone has the setup at home to work efficiently. It’s a work in progress that has both advantages and disadvantages. One advantage for businesses is reduced overhead. The need for huge office spaces, rented equipment, and large amounts of supplies may be a thing of the past. For employees, sickness and pregnancies are now something that they can tend to without having to take time off. 

The Effects on Your Health

Social stimulation is necessary. Most human beings need that connection with others. Working remotely eliminates that. A computer image of another person doesn’t offer the same interaction as being in a building and shooting the breeze about events in their lives. For some, constant isolation can take a toll on their lives, causing them to feel stress, anxiety, and depression

The world is rapidly changing and no one knows for certain if the remote way of life is something that will become normal in the future. For now, it’s a wait and see scenario. Hopefully, the virus goes away in the next few months and normalcy returns.

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