An Optimistic Outlook On COVID
COVID brought forth the option (read: requirement) of telework for millions of Americans.
This did two things. First, it showed the employees that telework was a viable option and something that they might actually enjoy (myself heavily included). Second, it showed the employers that productivity does not necessarily take a nosedive with telework and that people do not need to be under the constant watch of their manager to be successful and driven.
In many cases, productivity has gone up from telework. Bonus for the employer. Likewise has work-life balance for the employee. Bonus for the employee.
There is no reason that telework can’t be a permanent viable option for telework-friendly jobs in the future. It benefits both the employee and employer, so long as the employee enjoys that kind of work environment.
But this has additional potential. It has the potential for a massive cultural shift.
Families can now work from anywhere, in many career fields. This means they aren’t tied to degenerating cities. This means they aren’t required to be 500 miles from family. This means they don’t have to be in the rat race.
They can return home.
Telework, and by extension, the covid crisis, may just grant us this realization. COVID showed how telework can actually work for a lot of people. Which means that they can work from anywhere. Out of the city, near their old family.
It could shift the dynamic away from young kids being forced to move away from their community and family to get a job in the city that can actually support them. Which is what I had to do, and what I am now back-tracking from thanks to permanent telework.
We don’t have to separate families and communities anymore because of capitalistic pressures. Many jobs, some theorize up to 50% of Western jobs, can be done from nearly anywhere. All they need is computer access. This means we can break that chain.
Others, often trades and production careers, are often land-locked. But that is also fine. The teleworkers now have the flexibility to move to where the land-locked family member jobs are, rather than both being forced apart. This could give some flexibility for families to reunite, even when some are still landlocked. It could also give some communities the flexibility needed to unite and come together from distant lands.
It’s an optimistic prediction. I get that. I am more often a realist than an optimist. But, I do see some semblance of good from this whole ordeal.
It’s already working for me. Like I said, I’m perma-telework now. The very first thing I did was plan the trip back home, which is about 1,500 miles away. I’m excited to be closer to family and cultural communities that I had to leave behind in pursuit of the best job offer that could later support a family. Now I have both. I can have the job (which will lead to my own family) and have the old family back. Just waiting till August now.
Maybe others, the generations after millennials, will not have to endure all that we did in regards to the capitalist separation of families and communities. There is some hope now. A glimmer in the darkness.
A dream, perhaps. But one that is, at the very least, coming true for me.