MILWAUKEE - Before the pandemic, just 3 percent of the U.S. workforce worked from home. According to a December survey from Upwork, that number shot up to 27 percent.
There is a term workers may soon use more often: Flexible work schedules.
City planner and urban designer Alice Shay with Buro Happold sees the infrastructure of cities and our communities looking different, “I see a more flexible work situation where companies have distributed office setups.”
She adds, “Co-working spaces that are partially sponsored by companies across the city so you still have those hubs of activity but you still have that flexibility.” Because working home is not always ideal.
Just ask Waukesha mom, Katie Golsteyn, Director of Operations Lifetime Realty Group Keller Williams, “I was working at the kitchen table and that's where we would have dinner.”
She moved into a bigger home last year to make working from home and starting a side-business, clothing company SportzBooze.com. She hopes to keep a hybrid work from home schedule, “I like the flexibility of being here and be able to have really dedicated time with what I’m doing there's no people stopping into our office.”
Shay sees opportunities for local workers to find jobs in even bigger cities, without leaving Milwaukee and its suburbs, “Where they’re not the most dense in our country but they’re still walk-able. You can still own a single-family home in an urban core. I think there's a lot of viability and it's really sustainable model.”
Something we found the owner of Milwaukee AD agency The Weaponry Adam Albrecht already took advantage of, “We have a full-time employee in Louisville, Kentucky now.”
He credits the trust his employees have shown in this time, that working from home has cut down sick days, and has made his employees happier, adding, “An employees workday now is really based on their own lifestyles. I don’t think that if it weren’t for the pandemic we would be as understanding of the opportunities we could take advantage of.”
Including himself. Albrecht said, “I volunteered to become a high school track coach at my daughter's high school.”
Before, he says he would not have even considered it.
Showing the effects of this pandemic may create some permanent changes in our lives forever.
Click here to read Adam Albrecht's latest blog post titled: '20 things I learned from the most unique year of my life.'