LANCASTER, Pa. — What is the new normal? Is it masks? Social distancing? Working from home? Is it awkward moments caught on video conference calls with colleagues? Throughout the pandemic, the FOX43 team has worked remotely whenever possible. What if the new normal involves working from home forever?
"Some people hate it, and other people love it because they don't have to leave their home," said Becky Powell, a 40-year social worker.
For people who have worked from home, it's meant snacking whenever and wearing whatever -- unless they had to be on a video call.
"I always look presentable from the top up so," said Powell.
Throughout the pandemic, some people Powell realized the flexibility remote work offers is nice.
"I can vary my hours, and so if I just need to take a break at any point, I can do that," said Powell.
"The flexibility is nice, but there are challenges from home too," said Josh Parsons, a Lancaster County Commissioner.
For some people, that means having reliable internet, creating a suitable home office or finding a way to entertain the kids.
"I had kids jump on my lap during the meetings and I think, well, a lot of people experience that," said Parsons.
"If I could've stayed working through the whole thing, I would've," said Mike Tomaine, a local auto sales manager. "There were only three of us. They have brought a couple back, and most of people still stay at home. We were allowed to talk to people by phone or email. If they came to the dealership, no contact. They took a car and drove it, came back, left. They didn't get to talk to us after."
Some companies, including Twitter are giving employees the option to work from home forever. According to data from Gallup Poll, 3 in 5 workers in the United States would prefer to keep working remotely as much as possible.
"I know for me it's not something that I wanted would want to do forever," said Powell. "I'm a people person so I would much rather be in the office interacting with my colleagues and my clients, but I have to do what I have to do to stay safe."
For Lancaster County government workers, it all depends on the office.
"Department heads still have a lot of flexibility," explained Parsons. "If they have people who can work remotely and are doing it well, they can keep they can continue to do that."