It is no secret the world has witnessed a remote work revolution due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, it was estimated about 2.9% of employees globally worked from home permanently. However, this figure increased up to 88% due to the pandemic. It is even projected by 2025, about 70% of the workforce will be working at least five days a month remotely.
And many business overs foresee an increase in productivity because of it.
“All our work happens digitally and we moved to a fully remote setup over 2 years ago. Even before the pandemic it was the obvious choice. We founded bullmarketz.com with the intention of pushing the envelope on modern management of the company and so far it’s been a great success. “
Jimmy Norin, co-founder of the MJ Group LTD.
Is remote working here to stay?
2020 was a remote work year to many. They had an opportunity to deliver working from home —something they never dreamt of. This trend is not expected to fizzle out in 2021. Enterprise Technology Research estimates the number of permanently remote workers is likely to double this year. Gartner CFO survey further reveals that about 74% of employers plan to permanently move their workers to remote work once the virus is gone.
These figures mean that remote working is here to stay and benefits both the employers and the employees. Remote work allows employers to downsize offices, cut the amount spent on rent, and minimize their physical footprint.
Workers, too, are also happy working remotely. A pre-pandemic survey revealed that employees working remotely full-time are 22% happier in their jobs than those who are never. Going by these stats, it would be correct to say this is the beginning of a trend that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The fate of office employees
You are probably wondering what will happen to millions of office workers now that working from home is a reality. The truth is, working remotely is not feasible for all sectors. Some sectors can’t operate or survive without office workers. Consider service-sector jobs like cleaning, food service, and transportation that can’t be replicated remotely. In fact, only 44% of the jobs are doable remotely.
More reasons why office workers will not extinct soon include:
Working remotely more often can give a feeling of loneliness. There is no one to talk to — your colleagues are out of sight, and maybe there is no one home to keep you company. That feeling of working as a team is easily eroded when working from home, resulting in the rise of less productive and less engaged workers. No employer is ready to keep such employees on the payroll. Are you?
The reason why most people prefer to be office workers is to avoid the endless distractions at home. From children, pets to construction activities outside, many task unrelated disruptions can hurt employee concentrations. And the more they are interrupted, the higher the chances of their productivity suffering. According to a University of California study, it can take over 23 minutes to resume work once interrupted by anything task unrelated.
Workers want a mixture of both
55% of employees prefer a mix of home and office time. This means that employers must think of ways to maintain this hybridity to keep their employees productive and engaged. If that is what will make them perform better, it makes sense to give them the best of both worlds.
While this may mean downsizing the office space, saving on rent, and furnishing physical offices, it doesn’t eliminate office workers. They continue to be core to the growth of many businesses.
Covid-19 has taught us that it is possible to work from home and achieve the same results. Even companies that never anticipated their workers would work remotely have learned a lot about remote working since the start of the pandemic.
While remote working is projected to be a new norm, it is worth noting that it will not vanish office workers’ significance as some people put it. Some sectors heavily depend on in-person presence to perform and excel. For that reason, employers must see how best to find a balance between remote workers and office employees to stay in business. Thankfully, some employees want a mixture of both home and office time.