Insights for Executives

Will Remote Work Become More Common

Cedric Jackson

March 05, 2021

Remote work seems more and more common. Part of this trend stems from advancing technology. Another factor is the current state of the world. But will this trend continue in the future? You can likely expect remote work to become even more common. Eventually, it will become the norm. 

COVID Accelerated a Trend That Was Already Happening

Remote work was already increasing before COVID. More companies were offering employees the option to work remotely. The difference was that most companies were very reserved with this option. Originally, some would reserve it for sick days or half days. Remote work was seen as an option to get some productivity if an employee couldn’t come into work. Slowly, this was starting to change. 

More companies were acknowledging that their employees could work just as well remotely. COVID accelerated this trend by making it necessary. Companies had to offer remote work. Otherwise, they would not be able to function. It was not safe to go into the office. 

This accelerated the trend in multiple ways. More people got used to working remotely. It showed them that their jobs could be done remotely. Companies also saw that remote work wasn't bad. They could save money on rent and utilities. Many employees became more productive. Employees enjoyed their time at work more. These changes accelerated remote work by demonstrating the benefits. 

Companies Had to Develop Solutions

COVID did more than accelerate the acceptance of remote work. It also accelerated the tech behind it. Companies without remote work solutions had to adopt them. It forced companies to invest in technology that they can now use for the foreseeable future. 

Remote Work Is the Future of Work 

Experts believe that remote work is the future of work. Take the data from an Enterprise Technology Research survey. It expects the number of people working from home to double during 2021. A survey from Gartner CFO showed that 74% of companies would permanently have remote work. This includes after the pandemic. 

These predictions are nothing new. In August 2020, a survey suggested 16 percent or more of work-at-home employees would stay remote. The previously mentioned surveys show that this figure increased as the pandemic continued. 

With coronavirus, remote work lets companies still run their business, and people still earn paychecks. Even before this, it was growing in popularity. Remote work delivers flexibility and increases productivity. It also lets companies broaden their search for talent. Location is no longer a limiting factor. 

All Work Done Via Laptop Will Go Remote 

Soon, all work done via a laptop or desktop computer at home will go remote. This includes creative work like art, music, videos, and copywriting. It also includes tech work, including project management, development, and design. Learn about 8 creative jobs you can do remotely.

Coronavirus has already proven that most of these tasks can be accomplished remotely. Companies cannot argue against it effectively. After all, people have been working remotely for nearly a year. 

A recent report from McKinsey points out that the adoption of remote work doesn't depend on the job title. It depends on the tasks. Moving and handling objects, for example, cannot be done remotely yet, at least not typically. By contrast, learning or thinking creatively can be easily done remotely. 

Expect Remote By Default to Start 

In the future, expect companies to make remote work the default option. They will still offer office locations for those who prefer to work on-site. However, more people will opt for working remotely than in an office. 

This will let companies save money on office space. They will not have to rent as much space. This can also reduce overhead and utility costs. Even companies moving to a hybrid model instead of going fully remote will need less office space. 

The major tech companies are leading this trend. Back in May 2020, Twitter told employees they can work remotely indefinitely. Square announced a similar policy. Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO, made a similar announcement around the same time. 

Eventually, Everything Will Go Remote

Our technology will continue to advance. We will build more machines. More things and devices will be connected to the internet. This will lead to everything going remote. 

The benefits of remote work will be well-acknowledged. This will lead to a demand for as many jobs as possible to be done remotely. Employers will want to reduce costs and boost productivity. Employees will want the flexibility and lack of commute.

Build Your Remote Skills 

With the rise of remote work, it's important to build your remote skills. Learn which skills are the most important in our discussion of the 5 Critical Skills for Effective Remote Work. Honing those skills will make it easier for you to stand out from the crowd. 

Remote Creative Work is the single resource for remote work. We help you develop your remote skills and find remote gigs. Join our newsletter to be kept in the now. You can also follow us on Instagram.

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