Normal, normal, and normal. We must go back to normal after this all ends.
Last year while actively traveling the world I felt like the world was an interesting place, however many things felt dated. At least two things that were always at the back of my mind:
- How we work
- How we travel and what’s the real purpose of vacation?
I’ve already written an article about vacations and the way we rest, but what about work?
Turns out — everything has changed this year about the way that we work too. All of a sudden remote work finally became cool. Finally, employers started to realize that there are many benefits when it comes to providing an ability to work remotely to employees. Did they?
Unfortunately, there are still many pieces of the puzzle that are missing here and the reason for that is outdated local regulations. Employers still want to control where you are allowed to reside and your city and state are interested in keeping you on the same terms too. Moving to another place is possible, but there might be re-considerations on your pay rate.
Why am I concerned?
And there is just one thing that makes me worried here. We have such an opportunity to transform the way we live and seems like the world is still not ready for it.
Employers are currently hiring with a note that the remote work is just temporary and then it must be converted to a typical onsite office opportunity. Some people are moving around, but it still sounds like not everyone understood the full potential or remote work.
What are the benefits, anyway?
Traditional office jobs worked well for many decades, but some things were flawed from the start:
- Sitting around in traffic for an hour or two every day is not a good use of time
- Breathing recycled air in the office is bad for your health
- It’s very mentally exhausting for introverts to keep social interactions while those could be easily achieved via email or phone (much faster)
- Environmental pollution is a big problem because of how many people commute daily
- It’s not possible to move away to a place that has much lower apartment rental prices
I think that when this year came nobody expected how the world would change, even if it was just temporary. We have found that alternative ways to work exist and you could be even more productive and use your time more efficiently.
The world is a complicated place. This year we were challenged by some circumstances that transformed our work environment entirely. Some people never worked remotely and it was the first time for them.
Some people need more social interaction, some need less. Many people telecommuted for years and for them it was a surprise that the rest of the world started to finally turn in this direction.
But the most important thing to realize is that “normal” was never “normal”. It was a flawed pattern from the very beginning and, interestingly, the virus situation was the only trigger that changed so many things.
“Normal” is for those who can’t accept that this change was long due. Instead of going back to that point in time, let’s come up with better ways how we can operate in this world.
Maybe more flexible tax regulations for nomads? More travel benefits for employees? More motivation for freelancers from the local government? Specific “nomad” visas to motivate people to move to the place where they actually belong?
At the end of the day, we are not trees. It’s what we are here for. To explore the world around us and enjoy our work environment.