People want to continue working from home, even after lockdown

October 25, 2021 - 08:56

Many office staff in big cities like Hà Nội and HCM City have adapted to working from home and want to continue doing so when social distancing ends.

Office staff working from home in HCM City.— VNA/VNS Photo Xuân Tình

HÀ NỘI — Hà Thanh Hậu of Thủ Đức City said she has gotten used to working from home during five months of social distancing. She is just one of many office staff in big cities like Hà Nội and HCM City who want to continue remote working when social distancing comes to an end.

Hậu is a single mother to a six-year-old girl, who still has to stay at home and learn online instead of going to school.

Hậu said working from home allows her to have more time to take care of her daughter, monitor her learning and keep up with the housework. As the pandemic is still not over she does not want to hire a domestic helper to take care of her daughter. 

“I prefer to work from home for a while longer, until my daughter is allowed to go back to school,” she said.

Nguyễn Hà An, who works in an office in Hoàn Kiếm District in Hà Nội, said she has asked her boss to allow her to continue working from home after social distancing ends in Hà Nội.

An said, “Although I have been fully vaccinated, I still worry about the risk of being infected with COVID-19 at my workplace.”

“I have a three-year-old daughter. If I infect her with the virus it could be a very dangerous situation,” she said.

She added that this is the main reason she wants to continue working from home. 

Thanh Tuấn, a graphic designer working in HCM City, said he felt very inconvenienced by the realities of returning to his office after nearly five months of working from home.

“It takes me 30 minutes to drive from my house to the office and another 30 minutes to get home at night,” he said.

In heavy traffic it takes him even longer, he added.

He said he could use the extra hour a day to exercise if he continued to work from home.

“I realised that working from home gives me more time to connect with my family’s members,” he said.

Tuấn also added that when he worked from home during social distancing, he could take advantage of the lunch break to cook something.

After being back at the office for a week, Tuấn asked his boss to allow him to continue working from home, as it does not affect his or others work. His boss agreed.

WFH: A future trend

According to a recent global survey called “The Future of Remote Work” by PwC (one of the world’s "Big Four" accounting firms), many companies in Việt Nam are convinced that after months of total lockdown and a monumental shift to work-from-home, remote working is not a fad.

In the firm’s "Việt Nam Digital Readiness Report", 82 per cent of respondents believe that working from home will become more prevalent, even post COVID-19.

The survey also said that 80 per cent of Việt Nam’s Generation Z believe they can be just as effective during remote work. Generation Z, the newest members of the workforce, are expected to represent a third of the Vietnamese workforce by 2025.

Zooming out to a global scale, a survey done by the firm reveals 19 per cent of surveyed employees are ready to work completely remotely. Another 37 per cent would like to work from home at least 2 days per week.

In a related movement, PwC told Reuters on September 30 it will allow all of its 40,000 US client service employees to work remotely and live anywhere they want in perpetuity, making the company one of the biggest employers to embrace permanent remote work. — VNS