Arguably one of the most profound, socially significant changes that society has undergone in the last two years has been the widespread shift towards work-from-home and remote working patterns.
Although it seems like a relatively subtle change in our daily lives, the shift from predominantly in-office to at-home working has brought about significant changes in how we live our lives – notwithstanding the fact that the full consequences of this shift are yet to be seen.
For this reason, some writers have described this shift as the onset of the ‘work-from-home revolution’.
While the full effects of this ‘revolution’ are not yet fully known, some of the most immediately noticeable advantages for employees – and employers – include the drastic lowering of commuting times, higher levels of employee wellbeing, higher rates of productivity, more inclusive and accessible workplaces, and changes in management styles and working patterns.
These of course come in addition to the many other benefits that work-from-home brings for businesses, which include lower business overheads, a more geographically diverse workforce and higher levels of employee satisfaction and productivity.
For employees, an interesting consequence of this shift, not directly related to their work life, is that it has helped to create the space for a newfound appreciation of hobbies.
For many remote workers, the time saved commuting can now be spent indulging in the hobbies they could never quite find the time for in their former lives. This has been enhanced by the widespread changes in how we socialize during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw a renewed focus on pastimes and hobbies, rather than other forms of socializing.
This change is particularly interesting, given that for many years, millennials were criticized for being a generation of adults without hobbies!
Another interesting aspect to this change is that many of the new hobbies and pastimes, either being re-embraced after a long absence or picked up for the first time, are being practiced for the sake of enjoyment alone.
With this newfound embrace of at-home recreation, there is less of an emphasis on spending your free time in a purely productive manner. To this end, there is less of a focus on functional workouts at the gym, for example, and more of an emphasis on doing things that bring you true enjoyment.
One opinion writer for The Guardian newspaper has described this trend as the ‘ultimate nostalgia’, where we feel compelled to indulge in hobbies and forms of recreation that bring a childlike joy.
The different types of hobbies in which a resurgence has been created varies widely, across all age-ranges and demographics.
Online games have become particularly popular as a result of this shift, with the popularity of online casinos increasing significantly over the last couple of years. This has led to an explosion in the number of individuals signing up to online casinos and other gaming platforms as they seek out this ‘ultimate nostalgia’ in their spare time.
Other popular forms of at-home recreation include art, such as pottery, painting and photography. These hobbies are widespread as they provide a tangible, highly satisfying way for individuals to improve their skills in particular artistic pursuits. In addition, they also allow individuals to express the creative sides of themselves, which they might not otherwise have had an opportunity to do in their work or family lives.
The focus on at-home recreation has also changed how we exercise. In recent years, there has been a sharp rise in demand for at-home workouts, with many individuals using the closure of gyms and athletic centers during the Covid-19 pandemic to equip themselves with a home gym or some form of exercise apparatus.
Despite work-from-home and remote working options becoming increasingly popular – if not demanded – among employees, it is still not clear how permanent these changes may be.
Furthermore, if these changes in employment patterns are more temporary than we first thought, it is even less clear whether this new-found appreciation for at-home recreation will stay, as we get forced back into the office!
Despite this uncertainty, it is now becoming increasingly evident that in the past, many of us neglected leisure time in the hustle to and from the workplace, and if we have learned any lessons over the last couple of years, we have seen how important it is to maintain a balance between work and play in our daily lives.
For more articles visit: Digitalcombination