Has Remote Work Become An Unstable Option?

Sabreen Hussain, Writer

Recent economic events have created anxiety among remote workers. Remote work became one of the only options for office workers ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. It also holds many benefits for the employee and employer including higher retention levels, higher productivity, better communication, improved employee morale, and increased brand awareness. Despite this, many remote employees are more financially anxious than their hybrid or in-person peers. The underlying factors that contribute to this stress are benefit selection, struggling economy, proximity bias, and potential recession.

A new study by MetLife, which interviewed 1,000 full time workers, shows that more than half or 55% of remote workers are worried about their finances. Working from home has its disadvantages like dealing with enrollment yourself, without any guidance. This involves decisions that can affect how much one contributes to their 401k, in addition to picking a health insurance plan. These types of monetary settlements are crucial in a career, and you could imagine the concern they cause on their own. Now considering recent economic events, these and every other financial decision is quite intimidating. There is a 96% likelihood that a recession will hit the economy near the end of 2022 and lasting the entirety of 2023. The FED has already increased interest rates to 3-3.25% and aims to increase it to 4.4% by the end of 2022. 

This has also contributed to the concern of upcoming layoffs, especially for those who work from home and don’t show up in office for the job. Proximity bias represents how people in positions of power act towards workers who are physically closer, generally treating them better. 

So far, nothing has made a big impact on remote workers except the stress of living in an unstable economy. Worrying and thinking about the potential substantial consequences that come along with rising inflation are entirely valid. Those contemplating a future career that allows them to work from home should definitely reconsider how that option may do more harm than good for their future.