Is COVID-19 Accelerating the Shift Towards Remote Work?

Is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic shifting the world towards remote work? Maybe it is too early to say. But the chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will likely change the world for a long time to come.

Let us start with the current COVID-19 statistics and how the world has changed in the last three or four months. John Hopkins University coronavirus data show that more than 1 million people have been infected, resulting in at least 53,975 deaths.

But the ramifications of the pandemic have not just been health-related. Financial markets tanked. Events were canceled all over the world. Jobs were lost. Some businesses are on the brink of collapse while others have closed shop altogether.

Major companies such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Microsoft are encouraging employees who can work from home to do so. Currently, this is a temporary solution to a pandemic that is nowhere being contained or going away soon. Each passing day brings us closer to a new reality of favoring remote work.

The change will not happen overnight. Think of this as an experiment in which the results will determine the direction to be taken. But it is poised to work because there are great tools to connect teams and increase productivity as employees work from home.

It does not make sense to say that remote working is here to stay without giving you solid reasons for saying so. In this post, we will tell you why remote work is here to stay and become the new normal in a post-coronavirus world.

Related: List of companies going remotely permanently

The future of remote work

The current crisis is not just about the choices that companies want. Several countries, or parts of the countries, have stipulated that people should stay home to curtail the spread of the disease. These lockdowns have left companies investing in remote working technologies they thought they never needed.

The companies are testing these tools on a massive scale. And in doing so, the companies are building a new work culture that in part, might be better than what is currently in place. Companies can still hold virtual meetings using tools such as MeetFox, which is effective, reliable and easy to use and setup.

Managers have long believed that employees are productive when they are in offices and managed. With some people losing their jobs, those who can work from home understand the importance of providing value to their employers. They are initially forced to manage their workload to produce desired results.

They are slowly adjusting to their new working environment. Remote workers are striving to be more productive. They work hard to meet their targets. Working from home offers a degree of freedom to some workers and promote productivity. The increase in productivity could see employers happy with the status quo and keeping it that way.

We cannot ignore the fact that remote working saves time and money for both employees and employers. Workers don’t have to spend hours commuting to and from work. Companies can eliminate expenses such as office rentals and equipment. Employees can request to work from home when the dust has settled. Employees will likely favor this development as they stand to gain from it.

Read: 15 Home Office Tips to Boost Remote Work Productivity

Opportunity amid a crisis

No one likes a crisis. But each crisis comes with opportunities and paradigm shifts in how societies and businesses are structured. A ‘good crisis can never go to waste.’ It can bring out the best creative minds and reshape the future.

The current crisis is a test on how the world can come together to fight against an unseen enemy. It has also been a test on the flexibility of businesses. Companies with rigid business models will find it difficult to sail through these difficult times.

Social distancing is likely here to stay. And it could be a big factor in determining the future of remote work. It will drive companies to be connected virtually even if their employees are in different parts of the world.

Meetings will need to be scheduled online. Employees can still communicate using messaging apps. Online tools such as MeetFox will be in demand as they will be utilized for scheduling video calls/meetings and facilitating payments among other things.

The world is not the same anymore. Our future will depend on how we adapt to the changing circumstances. Even co-working spaces have become COVID-proof now.

Remote working was here long before the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States had 56.7 million freelance workers in 2018. This figure grew by 3.7 million in the last five years before 2018.

COVID-19 is only a catalyst for a further increase in the number of remote workers. It is not the trigger. 10 million Americans have lost their jobs in the past two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many people will undoubtedly take the remote working route to insulate themselves against losing jobs in case another pandemic – or catastrophe – breaks out in the future.

Bonus Read: Best Practices for Working with Remote Developers

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