Working from home has been a growing trend, and the emergence of COVID-19 can make it the norm.
5 min read
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Work ? For an increasing number of employees, this means getting out of bed, walking to the kitchen table, and turning on the computer. Forget about the transfer, the work outfit , and the office conversations. This is the emerging face of work in the 21st century.
The benefits of allowing employees to work remotely have fueled a steady increase in acceptance in many parts of the world. According to FlexJobs , a service that connects employers to freelancers, by 2018, more than 4.7 million Americans worked remotely or relocated half the time, and this is more than double what had been seen in the previous ten years. .
However, that seems to have been only the beginning. Last fall, an Owl Labs study projected that by 2025, about half of the US workforce will work remotely for at least part of their week. 42 percent of those who currently work remotely expect to increase the amount of remote work they do in the next five years.
Regular full-time employees who work from home or anywhere are only part of the story. In an economy where on-demand workers (freelancers, contractors, consultants, freelancers, and anyone else whose work is considered part of the work economy) make up the fastest growing part of the workforce, workspaces unconventional have become routine.
And beyond this, several leading companies in different industries have embraced the concept of remote working. Analysts predict that by the end of this year, 19 percent of the workforce will be made up of remote workers .
However, this forecast was made before the notion of a global pandemic became a real possibility. The carefully calculated increase in remote work, which had been projected to follow a predictable curve, soared with the spread of the new virus, threatening millions of people, closing schools, traffic, and work facilities where people could congregate and infect each other. . China's major cities and other places seem like ghost towns with empty streets, shops, and offices.
City blockades and weeks of quarantine, whether self-imposed or mandatory, became the standard response for officials in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Healthy people have been instructed to stay home to avoid spreading and transmitting the virus, and hospitals are fighting to help those infected. However, the need for economic productivity continues.
At the same time, the building blocks of a global home-based workforce are already in place: a combination of the increasing number of jobs connected to a computer network, the near-universal ownership of smartphones, and the ubiquitous availability of personal computers. , all united by technologies that provide connectivity services.
According to the president of Global Workplace Analytics , Kate Lister, “what these temporary uses tend to do is show companies that, A) it can be done, and B) having people who are already accustomed to working remotely makes the transition is much easier. ”
Experience has shown that working remotely has benefits for both companies and workers:
- Each remote employee saves your company an average of $ 10,000 a year in work space and related expenses.
- Companies can recruit talent from anywhere in the world, as their workforce does not depend on geographic location. Thanks to this, diversity can increase more easily, something that many companies presume as an added value to their workforce.
- There is better morale among employees, with fewer resignations, less absenteeism, and more commitment, even when working part-time from home. Flexible hours are a strong priority for many employees, and remote work allows them.
- High productivity has been repeatedly cited by professionals working remotely.
- As an economic development tool, it can help attract new residents to struggling rural communities where living costs are low.
Remote work can make an organization's staff more inclusive by allowing people with certain disabilities or chronic illnesses to participate.
From the beginning of human history to the end of the 19th century, most of the work was done from home, or at least a walking distance from home. Sure this was before the era of electronic communication, but the tradition of working at home is well established. The current COVID-19 pandemic may have the intended effect of reviving that tradition.