SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Pauleen Peabody of Sioux Falls works full-time from home for Sanford Health.
“It was the COVID, with being immunocompromised, they gave us the option right away at the beginning, due to health reasons to be able to work from home,” Peabody said.
She offers an unequivocal review of working from here.
“I did not think I would like it, because I wanted that social interaction,” Peabody said. “I love it. I have found out that I am a work-from-home person. I just really enjoy it.”
Chet Barney, who teaches in USD’s Beacom School of Business, says reactions to working from home have varied.
“Some people were saying, ‘Hey, it’s proven I can do my job from home, so why do I have to come … in the office for 40 hours a week,’ whereas other people were saying, ‘Well, I don’t like working from home, so I’m trying to get back to the office because I need that social engagement,'” Barney said.
“I come from a background where you can have a place to yourself,” Peabody said. “At Sanford, I felt like very closed-in in the working environment. I wasn’t used to the actual cubicles. I was used to an office and stuff like that so it was kind of hard on me.”
Darren Walker, chief people officer with Sanford Health who is in charge of the organization’s human resources, sees a lesson.
“What the pandemic has taught us is that there are more roles than we previously believed that could potentially be work-from-home arrangements if the proper things are in place for them to do that,” Walker said. “And so that probably has been the biggest lesson that we’ve learned is that there is probably more opportunity to do that.”
That’s not just the coffee brewing; change is in the air, too.
“I think that more and more people will have demonstrated that they can effectively do their job at home, and so they’re going to try to demand that perk,” Barney said.
“There are positions that I think will allow us to have more people do work from home or remote work either full-time or in a hybrid role meaning that they may work from home two to three days a week, and then have a drop-in at the office for the other two days,” Walker said.
“I think organizations have realized that a lot of work can be done at home, and in general past research has shown that working from home can actually be more productive, ” Barney said.
Walker identifies a question for employers.
“I participate on several HR advisory boards that are health care-related and non-health-care related that have people in positions like myself all over the country, and this is probably one of the top things that we are all talking about is how are we going to support this now that we’ve learned that there is opportunity for more jobs to be done from home,” Walker said.
Independent of location, it is still a job.
“You have to have a strong work ethic,” Peabody said. “I’ve never come to work here in my office with pajamas or something like that. I know people have; that’s theirs. It’s just not something I can do.”
And as with any work, time management is important.
“You also have to make sure that you do take your breaks,” Peabody said. “Take your 15-minute coffee breaks and take your dinners. And you just have to make sure when you’re here in your job getting paid for this time, you are working.”