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Will a COVID-19 vaccine save us from a permanent new normal? Show more Show less
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The Pfizer announcement has renewed hope that the new normal will soon be lifted. Meanwhile, Oxford University says its own vaccine might be ready before the end of the year. What will this mean for 2021? Can we go back to our lives before the pandemic, or are masks and social distancing here to stay?

A vaccine will not erase the changes to our daily lives Show more Show less

A COVID-19 vaccine will certainly help us rebuild our economy and autonomy. But some of the changes we've seen this year may be permanent.
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Remote work is the future

Working from home during the pandemic has become the norm for many of us. It is likely that even with a vaccine, there will be less people going into offices every day.
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The Argument

Even before the start of the pandemic, we were beginning to see a trend toward remote working. COVID-19 merely sped up the transition. It may have started in the middle of a global pandemic, but for months, many employers have been weighing out the option of keeping remote working as a permanent change in working conditions. Many employees are reporting higher job satisfaction and productivity working from home. This in turn increases profitability for employers[1]. Even back in April, a survey conducted by Gartner CFO found 74% of CFO and Finance leaders intended to permanently increase the amount of work done remotely. Just under a quarter of those surveyed said they intended to more at least 20% of their workforce to remote roles permanently. The reasons given were mainly to reduce costs[2]. More people remote working will require less office space and will cut commuting time for workers. The pandemic has not had many silver linings, but it has presented the perfect test for telework and human adaptability.

Counter arguments

Not all work can be done from home. To those who work on a laptop all day, perhaps it is possible, simple even to continue their daily job without leaving the house. For many others, it simply isn’t possible. For anyone who needs specialised equipment, facilities or resources, going in to work will be the only option.

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurelfarrer/2020/05/12/the-new-normal-isnt-remote-work-its-better/?sh=532864622405
  2. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-04-03-gartner-cfo-surey-reveals-74-percent-of-organizations-to-shift-some-employees-to-remote-work-permanently2
This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Nov 2020 at 18:02 UTC

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