When the coronavirus made its way across the oceans and seas and found its way into different countries, a sudden and unprecedented shift in the job market took place. COVID-19 has left a lot of industries struggling, if not paralyzed, because of its deadly nature.
Since most businesses were forced to shut down temporarily; others, unfortunately, for good. Many people were sent home with no assurance of a job or income. However, business owners looked for ways to stay afloat and keep their business going amid a global pandemic. This allowed a fraction of their workers to be recalled for work to keep operations going, albeit remotely.
Since that time, different companies and businesses adopted a work-from-home set-up for them to still stay in the game while keeping everyone safe.
The future has been sped up by the pandemic.
Even before the pandemic came, with all the technological advancements and progress we’re making, widespread work-from-home arrangements were already considered an inevitability. There’s nowhere else for us to go but online.
Of course, there are still jobs that will require face-to-face or in-person contacts such as auto repair, construction, delivery services, and some other professions. But for most white-collar or corporate jobs, the transition to go virtual was sped up by COVID-19. Add to that the millions of freelance online jobs are widely available to everyone such as being a content writer for a well-known SEO company or becoming a virtual assistant to an executive.
Going online and working in a virtual setting is fast becoming the new norm.
What remote work is today
Is remote work really the way of the future? Let’s take a closer look at what remote work is like today.
It is now permanent.
With the pandemic in full swing with no clear end in sight, a lot of companies have started making adjustments to their operations that allow employees to have more flexible working arrangements. Much to everyone’s surprise, the metrics are proving that remote work is working. The number of remote workers is expected to double this year as more than two-thirds of companies that made adjustments to accommodate this strategy intend to make this a permanent part of their operations even when the pandemic ends.
It takes up less office space.
Since the pandemic, most businesses and establishments have been operating at just a fraction of their usual capacity. If remote work arrangements remain after the pandemic, this means that most businesses will probably downsize their workplace and move to a much smaller office space with cheaper rental or lease rates.
Home offices will become a normal part of the typical household which, in some cases today, only involves a dining table and a chair. Of course, ideally, remote workers should have a dedicated office space where they can work undistracted and undisturbed.
It needs the worker to be more engaged and involved.
Although remote work seems to be the most ideal set-up at this time, it is not without challenges. These challenges are the main reasons that most companies opposed the idea pre-pandemic.
When you’re working from home, the tendency to relax or become more distracted with other things at home is a lot higher compared to working supervised in an office setting. There’s also
the fact that a lot of workers lack the motivation to work apart from a team. This means that the employee needs to think of ways to stay focused and be disciplined working from home. And at this point, if they want to really stand out from the rest and be recognized as a top performer, they need to be more engaging and make their online presence felt.
It boosts productivity and improves performance.
On the other hand, a lot of people are also thriving in an isolated working environment. The minimized workplace distraction allows them to have a laser-like focus on work which greatly improves their performance and significantly increases their productivity.
We also need to add the fact that since remote work opportunities rose, businesses are starting to cut down on costs, especially where the workplace is concerned. Downsizing to a smaller office has allowed them to save up on money which has been diverted to other more meaningful and relevant expenditures.
It means that cybersecurity is now more vital than ever.
Now that almost everyone, at least where white-collar workers are concerned, is working from the comforts of their homes, most people are spending more time online. The increase in online activity leaves companies more vulnerable to cybercriminals. At this point, organizations need to enhance their cybersecurity to address the different issues that may arise from the increase in remote work activity.
With the pandemic still looming over us, companies are restructuring their systems as a safeguard for future uncertainties. We’ve all learned a lot of valuable lessons from this pandemic and remote work is one of the best solutions to job security.