by (Fatherly): For these men, remote work has provided them a unique opportunity to be more involved with their kids. They don’t want to lose what they’ve gained…

Awaken

During the peak of the COVID pandemic, as many as 71% of Americans were working remotely at any given time. According to Upwork, 41.8% of workers continue to work remotely. As companies start to discuss a return to offices and some semblance of a pre-pandemic workday, the conversation about remote work and whether or not it’s a viable long term solution has ramped up. Some want it to end; others want it to stay. A large portion of the latter group are parents, specifically dads for whom working remotely has provided an opportunity to be a more hands-on father and husband. Without a commute or the trappings of office life, they can be a more active part of their child’s life, pitch in with the household labor, and generally have a new perspective. We spoke to a variety of men who don’t want remote work to end for these and other reasons. Here’s what they said about why they don’t want remote work to end.

1. It Allows Me to Be a Part of My Children’s Lives

“I don’t want remote work to end because of the convenience it’s given me. I don’t need to drive to work. I’m able to cook my own meals. It’s less exhausting overall. Working from the office was such a drain. When I came home, I just felt like resting and sleeping. No matter how much I wanted to bond with my kids, I was always so tired. Heavy traffic. The daily grind. It was all just so tiresome. Now, working from home allows me to be part of my children’s lives, I’m well-rested, and I’m saving money on gas and food.” – Liam, 49, Indiana 

2. I Don’t Worry About My Kids as Much

“As the founder of an online business and a father of three, I’ve found that remote work helps me strike a balance between having to provide for my kids, and having to care for them as well. The early mornings and tedious meetings are gone, which means I’m in a better position to be there if one of my kids is sick, or needs advice. I’m a lot more efficient at home. My productivity is much higher in my home office than it ever was in a more formal environment. But, more importantly, even if I might not always be available, at least my kids know that if they really need someone, they’re not alone.” – Adam, Florida 

3. It Puts Time Into Perspective

“You only get a certain amount of hours in a day, and remote work has helped me make sure I’m using my time wisely. It’s great not having to leave my house at seven every morning to fight traffic. I appreciate getting together with coworkers and partners in person, but it’s been great to know professional and personal relationships can survive – and thrive – with virtual meetings and experiences. I still have access to my office, so I can go into work if I want to or need to, but I appreciate being able to be home and do what I need to do so I can make the time for the things that matter most in my life, like my family.” – Bill, 34, Wisconsin 

4I’m Able to Be Much More Present 

Before the pandemic, I’ve always thought that I was a pretty perfect father. I could provide almost anything for my family, and spend time with them on the weekends. But when I was forced to stay and work from home, I saw the dynamics between my children and my wife. They love my wife so much that they keep on following her wherever she goes. I adore my wife for this but I also envied her. My children will choose her over me anytime. Through working from home, I was able to spend more time with my kids, not just on the weekends. I was able to be present in their lives and play with them. I’m able to provide for them and take care of them at the same time. Now they are also following me too, which feels wonderful.” – Tony, 36, Connecticut 

5. I Work Better With Distractions Anyway

“In university, I was always able to study for tests and write papers while I was watching TV, listening to music, or whatever. My brain just functions better with distractions. My office is completely lacking in that department. At home, I can have the TV on. I can listen to my kids playing. I can even sneak an afternoon beer, just like back in the day. The point is, being at home allows me to curate my environment based on what keeps me productive, and that happens to be the presence of distractions. After all, isn’t productivity what’s ultimately ‘best for the company?’” – Nathan, 36, Toronto, ON, Canada

6.  I Want to Make Sure My Family Is As Safe As Possible

“I don’t think people realize that COVID isn’t over. At least not the people in my office. Some would accuse me of being an alarmist, and that’s fine. But the fact is there are still concerns, still plenty of unvaccinated people – people I work with – and no good reason to go back to a physical office. Everything has been functioning perfectly fine since we went remote last year. My personal anxiety about the pandemic stems from one of my kids and my mother both being immunocompromised. We’re all vaccinated, but we’re hearing more and more talk about the dangers that are still out there. If we go back to the office, I’ll be stressed non-stop, but at home I can make sure my family is as safe as possible.” – Jared, 40, Utah

7. Now My Kids Can See What I Do

“This is really a benefit that wouldn’t be possible without remote work. I work for an advertising company, on the design side in art direction. My kids don’t really understand what that means, other than, ‘Daddy draws pictures’ or ‘Daddy makes commercials.’ Working from home has actually allowed me to show them — sometimes step-by-step -—how the art I produce is made from the ground up. It also helps me show them that all the times I’ve had to work late have actually been spent working late. Sometimes they’ll come check in with me before I put them to bed, and ask what I’ve been working on. It’s a very unique opportunity, and it makes me feel good being able to share my passion with them.” – Eric, 41, Connecticut

8. It Gives Me a Perspective I’ve Never Had

“I’m a co-founder and CEO of my company, and I’m also a husband and father to two boys. Remote working has finally allowed me to understand the true meaning of running a household. I’m not entirely a fan of it. I mean, I don’t want to stay remote working to spend my off time cleaning, but I want to share the load. And the kids, they are so full of positive energy in the mornings, I have been missing that with needing to be at the office. I have finally been able to be with them when they are at their peak during the day, and not later when they are tired and cranky and ready for bed.” – Ivan, Singapore 

Source: Fatherly