Remote work has become the new normal over the past few years. Companies like Google, Netflix, and Amazon have made it possible for employees to telecommute from home.
Without a doubt, remote work is here to stay. This is because of the flexibility that it offers, both for the company and for the employee. Companies can reduce expenses and save a lot of money by downsizing their offices. Employees also are thriving and even more productive working from home and can also take advantage of this opportunity to balance out their busy schedules while working from home.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s look at why remote work is becoming more common. And once we understand the reasons behind its growth, we can make smarter decisions about how to capitalize on it.
In this article I’ll explain why remote work is growing, and I’ll also share my thoughts on whether it’s here to stay.
Real quick, before we get too far into it here, if you want to get more great ideas for your gaming room or home office and want to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.
Is remote work here to stay?
Yes. Remote work will be here to stay for the long haul. Thus, you will be seeing a rise in remote workers.
This was something that was bound to happen within the next five to ten years. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the game and accelerated the inevitable. While the model itself wasn’t a finished product, it forced people to take it as it was and make improvements along the way.
Pretty soon, remote employees and remote teams were getting the hang of it. The lesser use of office space was soon becoming a reality. Office buildings were becoming more empty and commercial real estate owners were wondering about what to do with the vacant space.
Remote work per se won’t kill off the office environment. Nor will office workers go the way of the dinosaur. Some companies are trying to find a compromise in the form of the hybrid model.
While many employers want workers back in a physical office, there are those that are seeing the benefits of remote work. Companies may see an increase in employee retention if they allow their workers the option to work from home on a regular basis. Even tech companies are allowing their employees to use this to their advantage since they already have the resources and infrastructure to get work done from anywhere in the world.
Research shows 15% of jobs are remote now and will continue to grow into 2023 and beyond
Careers site Ladders conducted research into how workers would adapt to working remotely. They found that some industries will remain closed to remote work while others will embrace it.
Even though there will always be some jobs that will require being in the office or on site, Ladders points out that remote work will continue to grow at a quick pace.
Ladders CEO Marc Cenedella pointed out that “This change in working arrangements is impossible to overhype. As big as it is, it’s even bigger than people think”.
Cenedella anticipates that this growth of remote work will constitute a seismic social and economic shift and will result in an enormous surge in the available talent pool due to removal of the limitations of needing to be in a big city to work.
Because it’s no longer required that one live in a big city to work communities and smaller towns and cities can anticipate seeing growth as people will now have the opportunity to leave the hustle and bustle of Gotham City for what may be a more appealing smaller town.
The good news is that most businesses will be able to accommodate remote work. This includes small startups and large corporations alike.
What percentage of workers will remain remote?
According to Owl Labs, there are at least 16 percent of companies that will be working remotely. To that end, more than 18 percent of full-time workers worldwide will be working remote on a permanent basis. This number may rise over the years.
Regardless, the age of the virtual office has arrived. But the traditional office setting may still remain an option for many companies. There are 4.3 million members (or 3.2 percent) of the American workforce that will be remote.
American workers can have the choice to work in a traditional setting or become part of the remote workforce. For this reason, they can be part of a much larger talent pool. However, they must follow remote work policies that are outlined by the company.
These policies will differ from those working in an office setting in some areas. But if they work in a hybrid setting, they can choose the days to work from home and the office. For example, they can work four days at home and one at the office.
Will work from home continue in the future?
Yes. Work from home will continue in the future. There is a good number of reasons why this won’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon. For one, they can be less stressed since they are close to family and don’t have to commute to and from work.
As a result, they may see their productivity levels rise. Furthermore, this can also level the playing field for those trying to look for a good job. They want something that can give them remote work options.
For example, instead of making the commute to San Francisco, they could be in San Jose and work in a virtual environment every day of the work week. They won’t have to content with the long commute in bumper to bumper traffic, either.
Hybrid work models can also be beneficial for companies. This will allow office work to continue while maintaining the option of allowing people to work from home. Because of the availability of remote work, you may see a number of job openings rise.
That’s because companies like Goldman Sachs and other large companies have the resources and the infrastructure to grow their workforce. With technology ever evolving, it allows people to work from just about anywhere and using very few devices as possible.
In the tight labor market that exists right now, this can provide some relief. If you are comfortable working in a remote setting, this may be a blessing for you.
Are companies calling back employees?
Yes. Some employees are calling back employees to the office. The reason for this is because they believe the pandemic may be over. On top of that, they see the remote setup as a temporary thing.
They want to not only bring people back to the office, but to continue business as usual within their company culture. This includes encouraging people to work as a team in an in-person setting. Meanwhile, they are also making it easier to monitor their employees on their progress without having to rely on the tools they’ve used in a virtual set up.
This can also be due to the fact that they may be unable to handle the expense of dealing with the resources they need for people to work from home. They may also not have the long-term financial sustainability to keep the option open for their workers.
This can lead to resistance amongst employees that have found remote work more useful. While they might not mind meeting in person every now and then, they find that being a remote worker makes things easier for them. Going back to the way things were could include a stressful commute, dealing with office politics, and much more.
Imagine coming home from work stressed out and wanting to relax. This means not being in the mood to do things with family or friends. Before a company considers calling back their employees, they must consider the consequences of providing a work environment without a remote option.
It’s understandable if they don’t have the long-term resources nor the financial means. But they may face backlash from employees that could lead to eventual resignations. Some 9-to-5 office workers may return and others may not in favor of other opportunities.
Some things may stay the same of course. Zoom meetings with corporate leaders may become the normal thing. Annual reports may be presented virtually.
But employers won’t be shocked by the numbers of reduced productivity that may occur due to employee unhappiness. Some companies may decide on a compromise like a hybrid setting.
Are companies switching entirely to work from home?
There are some companies that, as a result of the pandemic, are transitioning to accommodating their staff to work from home permanently.
And it’s not just the small, local and regional businesses that are doing this.
There are companies like Coinbase, a cryptocurrency services company which is now a “remote first” company, providing greater flexibility for the staff.
Digital marketing leader Hubspot is further embracing work from home and expanding it. They already had about 10% of their staff working remotely before the onset of the pandemic.
Facebook’s parent company Meta is another company that’s made the transition to work from home allowing anyone who can work from home to do so.
While Google has asked for their employees to return to the office they also have embraced the remote workforce with numerous jobs that can be done remotely or while working from home.
Amazon also is on board with working remotely, not only due to the issues caused by the pandemic, but now also due to the fact that their teams are just as productive and happy working from home.
Streaming entertainment giant Netflix also has embraced the remote work lifestyle with numerous opportunities listed on their website which can be done remotely.
And it’s not just digital companies that are doing this.
Even more traditional companies like 3M are getting in on the work from home trend and work “their way“.
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