Working remotely changes behavior in a number of ways. How so, you might ask? We are spending more of our daytime hours in our homes or in remote work locations than ever before. No longer are remote workers ‘chained’ to their desk. Those working remotely are not required to innovate, increase production or come up with creative ideas in a in a dusty gray, drab and mundane 6×6 cubicle tightly packed alongside their colleagues.
Working remotely changes behavior
Working remotely changes behavior, specifically the purchase demands. The purchase demands of the traditional in office work located on office campuses, in office buildings required these consumer spending patterns:
- Purchase professional wardrobe in retail stores or on line, pay to have office attire professionally dry cleaned weekly
- Have access to car, buy gas, pay to park in a garage, or purchase metro ticket, or other form of public transportation, and or call taxi or Uber
- Buy make-up, hair styling products, visit the salon or barbershop to maintain professional appearance,
- Pre-pack lunch made from home, or carry enough cash or credit cards to splurge for lunch at the deli or restaurant
- Carry spending money to make impulse purchases such as snacks, gift cards, magazines, books at the office cafeteria or lounge
- Respond favorably to in-office donation requests, sponsorship raffles, support MLM pursuits (Mary Kay, Avon) of their colleagues
- Utilize childcare, aftercare, eldercare and dogcare facilities
In essence, these unconscious spending behaviors served to buttress the GDP (gross domestic product), grow the economy and keep others in the service, restaurant, and retail industries employed. We helped fuel the economy with our consumer purchasing of which we thought very little.
Remote workers’ change in consumer spending patterns
Remote work has changed the consumer spending patterns of the workers who are working from home remotely. Increased adoption of work from home policies have changed the physical and digital landscape. Jose Maria Barrero, researcher at Work from Home Research (WFHResearch) provided details in their May 2022 study. During COVID-19, employers were forced to find work from home remedies and adopted full 40 hour remote work weeks. At the present time though, remote work research revealed that most employers with remote work from home policies plan to reduce slightly, the number of hours employees work from home from 40 to 30 hours weekly.
Remote workers change behaviors to increase time spent at home
Remote workers have changed their behaviors by spending lots of time at home. The former spending behaviors resulting from the chained to the desk approach to work life as given rise to changes in consumer behavior and spending habits.
Remote workers when asked about the average days per week they intend to remain working from home, most of the respondents indicated about 2.2 days weekly. This data is consistent with the Deloitte research finding that workers working remotely in Canda, Australia, the United Kingdom and the US are working from home, on average, three to four days per week. In other countries, such as France, Norway and Denmark, the number of remote worked days each week average to two days.
Remote workers change behaviors to readily adapt to isolated conditions
Remote workers change behaviors with lowered preference for group social activities. Remote workers readily adapted to work in isolation. The research revealed that digital nomads and workers working from home are changing not only their spending patterns, but also their social habits. When given a choice as to which day workers working remotely preferred to report for in office, in person work, 57% preferred to leave their selection open without coordination with their colleagues while the other 47% selected the Tuesday and Thursday option to coordinate in office time with their peers. This research may show that many working remotely have a preference for working in isolation and seclusion.
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Remote workers change behaviors and spending habits
Remote workers change behaviors and spending habits. The requirement to show up and report to a physical location, campus, or in office work cubicle has diminished from pre-Pandemic heights. As such remote workers may be spending more or less depending upon the worker’s household budget, here are the shifts in spending habits reported by Deloitte, the consulting firm.
- Increases in grocery store, staples and other food items expenditures
- Increases in household renovations, remodeling, maintenance and upkeep
- Reductions in budgetary spending allocated for vacations
Working remotely did not change GDP figures
It is widely assumed that stay-at-home policies, work from home, and working remotely may have negatively impacted GDP. But research published in Forbes evidenced that remote workers kept many national economies alive and well. As an example, found that the detrimental effects of COVID-19 closures “would have been considerably greater if remote working wasn’t such a seamless option.” The researchers revealed this astounding finding after analyzing data from seven countries including the US, UK, France and Germany. It was concluded that while remote workers may have spent less on other items, they drastically increased their household budget to outfit their home office with the latest remote from home furniture, gadgets devices and computer equipment.
Further an analysis of worker behaviors during COVID-19 demonstrated that the accessibility of video-conferencing technologies and the availably of high speed broad band connections actually increased worker productivity.