Art by Samantha Miller
In response to COVID-19, there are now more people working remotely than ever before; most of Pepperdine’s on-campus jobs and internships are now remote. Despite the difficulties that come with remote employment and learning, students must prepare for a future that largely consists of working online.
Although COVID-19 eliminates students’ ability to grow professionally on campus, the opportunity to work online is preparing students for the future in a different way. Scotland Garapedian, a Pepperdine alumnus and call center program manager at The Pepperdine Fund, said having experience working in this new normal is going to positively affect future alumni when searching for career opportunities.
“If people can see that they can do their job efficiently from home, then they are more entitled to work remotely and do as good of a job,” Garapedian said. “I think we will see a lot more remote opportunities in the future.”
Companies such as Google have already announced initiatives to keep over 200,000 employees working remotely until the summer of 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal. Many other businesses like Facebook, Twitter and Slack will allow their employees to continue working from home after the pandemic, according to CNN.
When applying for jobs after graduation, highlighting remote experience will demonstrate a candidate’s ability to adapt to any environment they are in, whether it be in person or at home.
Students should not fear remote work. Working from home can increase productivity, cut transportation costs, prevent office interruptions and lower overall business expenses. Most importantly, employees are less likely to contract COVID-19 since they will not be exposed to other people.
Despite the difficulty of being confined at home to work, there are many positive attributes.
Remote working is as important as ever with almost 46 million individuals in the U.S. being laid-off or furloughed, according to Gallup survey data. With many companies moving their operations online, it is important that people adapt to this new norm to become more competitive candidates.
A permanent switch to remote working, however, contains some serious disadvantages. Remote workers are unable to reap the social benefits of being in an office environment, which is critical for not only developing organization and customer service skills but also establishing friendships with fellow coworkers. Employees may also be required to pay for technology and stable internet connection, which can be very expensive. Working at home is prone to creating distractions, extensive costs, an unhealthy work-life balance and loneliness.
As remote working becomes increasingly common around the world, it is important to find ways to promote self-care. Employees should spend time going outside for fresh air, maintaining an organized workspace and scheduling breaks when available. Once an employee is able to create a positive work environment at home, they will feel more productive in the work they complete.
COVID-19 has made it difficult for alumni to search for work. With remote working becoming more prevalent, it is important for people to acclimate to this new lifestyle. Handshake, PeppConnect and the Career Center are valuable resources for current Pepperdine students and alumni who are in need of a job during these uncertain times. Taking advantage of remote working is critical, as it continues to impact the careers of millions of people around the world.
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