Remote work has been around for years. This work style has become more prevalent since 2019. The pandemic period was the most drastic and rapid change to work-life since World War II.
Within months, social distancing practices were carried out and forced almost all employees to leave the office and go into a home. In fact, in 2019, Buffer surveyed over 2000 people, and 95% said they would recommend remote work. This statistic will increase by 2% in 2022.
Employees' increased interest in remote environments has led them to redefine their dream jobs. They want more flexibility in work.
In the past, the main focus of remote work was preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting health. Now, the goal is to help companies increase employee productivity. Here are the current and future remote work trends in a broader picture.
The current state of remote work
At one time, a remote work environment seemed impossible. Everything is limited because no technology can help. When there are employees outside the office, meetings cannot be held. The director of Blue Fountain Media said, “Ten years ago, remote work meant telemarketing or customer service positions that paid below minimum wage.”
But now, everything is resolved because of video conferencing technology. Employees in various locations and time zones can conduct virtual meetings without problems. They can communicate in real-time anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.
1. Employee interest in remote work is increasing
The growth in employee interest in remote areas is undeniable. A survey from FlexJobs said that 58% of 2,100 employees choose to resign if they cannot work remotely. Buffer says employees want greater flexibility and work-life balance. 97% of 4,600 want flexible work arrangements. These are the advantages of a remote work environment. In addition, it also makes employees happier.
The remote work experience will be different for everyone. Both employees and employers had to adapt to this trend quickly. Plus, remote working influences many life decisions, including house moving. Moreover, some people even lose balance and find difficulties in their work and personal life.
Despite this, employee interest continues to grow. The effects of remote work don't turn them into haters. Even searches for "remote work" on Google have increased.
Source: Google Trends
2. Companies are adopting this work model to become permanent
From a company perspective, remote work provides more opportunities, including the quality of candidates, costs and branding. A study in the US shows that 80% of employees will not accept a job without flexibility. Simply put, remote work positively impacts employee recruitment and retention. This is why 89% of 530 companies consider making the remote work model permanent.
How effective is remote work?
The problem with remote work is the employer's concern about employees' productivity. Apart from that, there are several reasons why remote working is considered ineffective, such as:
- Office data security risks
- Difficult to maintain an office culture
- Lots of distractions at home result in low employee performance
To paralyse this perception, let's understand the effectiveness of remote work more deeply.
- A study from Stanford on 16,000 workers over nine months found productivity increased by 13%.
- A survey from Airtasker showed that employees who work from home spend less time away from work.
- 21% of employees are happier, less stressed and more focused when working remotely.
- Flexibility increases job satisfaction by as much as 88%.
From the several studies above, remote work is practical when correctly done. But before implementing this model, identify whether it matches your business.
The future trends of remote work
Both employees and companies are benefiting from the trend of remote work. The last two years have been considered the year of remote work. But calm, this is only the beginning.
1. Remote work made permanent
More than 4.7 million people work remotely in the United States today. Globally, as many as 16% of companies have implemented a complete remote system. This number will continue to increase over the next few years. Also, Gen Z will prefer remote work. A study from Upwork projects that by 2028, 73% of companies will have remote workers.
What's more, Ladder's Weekly Remote Work Report reveals that by the end of 2022, as many as 3 million jobs will have moved to remote bases. They also estimate that 25% of high-paying jobs are also entirely remote.
2. Offices will be a past thing
All companies shifting to remote bases are considering the location and size of their physical office. They are starting to create offices according to capacity and business needs. By 2022, CBRE has surveyed 185 companies, and 52% plan to reduce office space by 25% over several years.
Another report also said that 74% of companies hope to reduce their headquarters. These statistics show that the office can be a thing of the past from work, but even so, its existence is still needed.
3. More competition, more opportunity
Through remote work, everyone can find the best job anywhere. This potential also allows a recruitment system that is not limited to only one area. Companies can have better quality employees, and they can choose. This creates two-way competition, namely employee and company standards. Indirectly, companies must always offer the best facilities to attract employees.
4. Enhanced security for enterprises
As well as creating opportunities, remote work also creates challenges, such as information security. In cyberspace, information security is the most important thing. SoSafe says that 85% of cyber attacks start with humans. More precisely, through the machine interface. Enterprises should begin building solid cyber defences, including:
- Implementing multiple access privileges
- Thoroughly protect data from the company
- Multi-factor authentication
- Always use anti-malware on the computer
- Regular scanning of company data
How will technology impact the future of remote work?
Technology is not only affecting remote work but also the future of work. But we will specifically discuss the remote work environment. Remote working makes it difficult for people to communicate face-to-face, but through video conferencing, they can have real-time discussions.
Remote workers also often feel lonely, so it's the reason why virtual offices exist. There they can set their table, socialise, attend meetings and much more.
Flexibility is a powerful magnet for retaining valued employees. More and more companies are turning to remote-based, creating more job opportunities. As a result, remote work is not an option but a necessity.