The year 2020 was unprecedented in the way it affected people; the COVID-19 pandemic as drastically changed the way that employees work which results in a huge shift to working remotely. With the current situation, 2021 is poised to have an even better and bigger impact on the typical work-from-home arrangement.
Most employees who work remotely today were forced out of their offices, this made a challenging change for employees to face the obstacles brought on by the pandemic to suddenly shift to a work-from-home setup, however, many employees prefer this setup even after the pandemic is over.
Looking ahead to 2021, we are now expecting vaccines to be distributed all over the world to bring the pandemic under control; with this rollout, remote work is expected to become easier and even financially rewarding.
Here are how we expect remote work to expand and change in the year ahead:
Companies will be given incentives to support remote work
Before the pandemic, remote workers represented a small number of employees and not much looked into; in 2021, they already represent a larger proportion of a company’s payroll. According to employers, they are planning to add incentives to better serve the needs of remote workers.
It has been noted that remote work specifically had little to no attention in the past given the low number of companies they represented. Now that remote work is the trending norm for many people, it could affect the political will to improve conditions for remote workers.
Remote workers will have more access to tools and resources
Having more remote workers will also give companies the incentive to design products that improve the experience and efficiency of these tools, while having employers investing in these solutions. Such solutions include having an easy to use remote desktop software that does not need any complex installation needs.
With the current trend, companies are investing in up-skilling managers in technology to help them better understand employee engagement when working remotely.
It is also forecast to see better remote security and communication tools emerge in the years to come. Organizations have been specifically hired to manage the needs for a remote workforce.
Remote Work will be a new normal
The difficulty facing remote work when the start of the pandemic arose due to the speedy transition out of the office as quickly as possible. Now that most companies have already shifted or adapted to remote work, remote work will be more adaptable in the coming years.
While the sudden change of how people work was difficult when remote work is not yet the norm; as time progresses, remote work would be an easier shift since people have already been accustomed to the change.
Remote Workers will have Work-Life Balance
Many employees who began working remotely in 2020 have had a lot of things to manage at home, compared to those who did prior.
Most remote workers are yet to experience the lifestyle’s full benefits due to stay-at-home orders and restrictions on mobility. Some of these examples are being able to work from various locations or even dropping by your local coffee shop and still be able to work. These are just common examples of how remote work gives you more flexibility and freedom.
One challenge which new remote workers face is the lack of work-life balance, especially among parents. This is because one gets to spend more time with the children, which makes it hard to concentrate and have a work-life balance.
Remote Work will be less isolating
The remote work setup can contribute to isolation, but this is what is required to stop the pandemic, rather than hinder remote work itself.
Many employees tend to think that having a remote work setup implies that they are not working together with other people, or near other people. Many employees are extroverted by nature, which by their sociable nature allows them to work closely in a single location.
Remote Workers can Earn More
As employers now can hire skilled people from anywhere, employees too can now find job opportunities outside their physical location, providing them a much larger option and much higher-paying jobs in different markets.
One example are IT professionals who typically had to move to places like Silicon Valley to achieve their full earning potential; with remote workers able to work from where, they can easily land a job no matter where it may be located.
Remote workers is a Global Option
As the year 2021 progresses, the anticipation in the evolution of hiring and recruiting space as companies tap into an expanded talent pool offered by remote business models. The adoption of remote work by many companies will fuel a migration of working professionals, as geographical barriers are reduced. Hiring skilled people will no longer be restricted to specific locations and remote workers can work on any locations that their companies are based.
Remote work opens the door to global talent; with this reason, HR leaders have access to much wider range of candidates from different backgrounds.
Benefits of Remote Work to be Standardized
Business in 2021 will need to bear consideration to the standardization of benefits. Given how remote work has become the new trend, employees no longer have access to perks and benefits where they could only enjoy in the office; common examples of which are free coffee on board, team lunch, or even those company team building where all employees are encouraged to join. Companies should now reassess how they could provide their employees incentives to create an appealing workplace culture for remote workers.
During the pandemic, mental health has become one of the priority concerns for employees who may be also facing parental duties in addition to work. Because of this, companies should consider offering online medical services that cover mental health along with basic physical health.
Remote work will be a retirement alternative
While all people have been affected by the pandemic, making them use their emergency savings to survive every day, some people have had to resort to adjusting retirement contributions from their retirement accounts.
With remote work, those who wish to retire and still want an income could always apply and look for remote work offered by various employers may it be anywhere without the problem of having a physical appearance.
Remote Workers are the Future
One positive work-related aspect that has been brought into focus during 2020 is how the benefits of remote work have been seen and emphasized. The pandemic would surely end in the upcoming year, but remote work trends indicate that it is here to stay.