Senior man working from home

A 65-year-old man known as Dennis C. decided that he would rather retire than return to the office full-time.

The individual who spoke with Business Insider, said he became familiar with the practice in 2018, when he was granted the ability to work from home once a week as a reward. By 2019 he was working remotely twice a week. With this hybrid work arrangement, he thought he’d never retire since it fit in well with his lifestyle.

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world, his company allowed him to work fully-remote. This worked out perfectly for Dennis, who found that his job did not require him to be in the office at any time.

The main draws to remote work were that it allowed him to concentrate better, have fewer meetings and slashed his commute time from 20 to five minutes.

“The more choice we have, the more autonomy we have, I think, the happier we are,” claimed Dennis.

However, in 2021 things took a turn as his company asked him to work from the office three times a week. This prompted Dennis to inform the company that he was retiring.

By that time he also secured another job offer, which allowed him to work fully remotely, at a slight pay cut. Coupled with his retirement income however, he’s set to make more than before.

He believes that the only people who fail at remote work are those who weren’t actually getting much done in the first place, while self-starters and motivated individuals excel under those conditions.

In Malta, the concept of remote work has effectively been normalised. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Malta became one of the leading countries in embracing remote work compared to other EU member states.

The practice has taken such a hold on domestic work culture that the Government has introduced work-life balance policies for it’s 30,000 public service workers which allow them to work up to 20 per cent of their weekly hours remotely without the need to provide justification.

The Government has also launched a visa programme for high-earning digital nomads working remotely.

However, local business representatives have been firm when it comes to the practice. Not all companies are able to adopt remote-work, such firms in the manufacturing industry, and as was recently pointed out by Joseph Farrugia, director general of the Malta Employer’s Association: “in general, employers do not resist such flexibility as long as productivity is not affected.”

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