Many Finns who had the opportunity to work or study at home during a coronavirus pandemic would like to continue it, at least to some extent, according to a recent European study.
Finland was the fastest in the EU to switch to telework during the coronavirus crisis.
When the pandemic prevailed more than a year ago, Anniina Lehmus, who is studying veterinary medicine at the University of Helsinki, decided to move back to his hometown of Kaarina when the department stopped teaching personally.
But Lehmus said distance learning had many benefits, including time and money spent on a business trip, for example. He was also able to start studying Russian, which would not have been possible otherwise, Lehmus explained.
"Course timings overlap or were not offered on the downtown campus. But also through distance learning, I completed those courses" he said.
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Lehmus is not the only one who likes to study from afar, according to him Katariina Salmela-Aro, Professor of Education at the University of Helsinki, who has studied how students and faculties have handled distance learning situations.
The professor said that over the past year, many students have developed digital skills and found tools to help them be more self-sufficient, adding that students are increasingly able to seek help and support when needed. He said about 20 percent of students reported enjoying distance learning during the pandemic.
Lehmus, a veterinary student, said the experience taught him self-discipline skills and added that he hoped there would be an opportunity to continue learning remotely as the university’s lecture halls begin to fill up again.
However, he wants personal studies to continue and that they have the opportunity to study remotely part of the time.
Eeva Kosonen, who works as a team leader, said telecommuting offers many opportunities. Although his pre-pandemic commute was about a mile away, he said he saved about 45 each morning by being able to bypass this routine.
"I really love telecommuting," Kosonen was excited and added that the practice has provided an opportunity to improve schedule, concentration, exercise and even laundry.
"It’s good to take breaks during the day," he explained, but pointed out that teleworking can have a kick, such as increased apathy and loneliness.
However, Kosonen said he reminded his 20-member team of constantly taking breaks and dealing with everyone during shared coffee breaks.
A study by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound),Living, working and COVID-19, found that about 20 per cent of Finnish employees would like to work remotely all the time and more than 40 per cent would prefer to do so a few times a week.
"It seems that most people are happy and would like to continue working remotely, at least in such a hybrid model, ” said Virpi Ruohomäki, senior researcher at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
Only five percent of Eurofound respondents said they wanted not to work remotely at all.
Ruohomäki stated that working methods have changed and developed over the past year. He said that while the situation has been particularly more severe for younger people, many people feel that teleworking has increased their independence, balanced work and personal life and saved time on commuting.
Source: The Nordic Page