Will remote work become the new normal after COVID-19? There are several factors that could make a strong case for it.
When the pandemic started spreading throughout the country, many businesses sent their workers home to work remotely. Now with some states beginning to reopen, it’s likely that many businesses will continue to maintain work-at-home policies, at least in part.
The future is truly anyone’s guess, but here are a few remote work trends we’re likely to see.
Despite seeing a blatant need for a fluid workplace, a recent study by Upwork discovered that 57 percent of companies had no formal remote work policy in place. The pandemic has shifted this method of thinking for many companies, however.
Moving forward, remote work is less likely to be viewed as a luxury. We’ve already seen how critical it’s been in allowing a business to continue going during COVID-19. Otherwise, many businesses that weren’t deemed essential would have had to temporarily close their doors — and their revenue streams.
Now that remote work is higher on the priority list, companies are likely to invest more in the tools and tech that will allow employees to work at home.
When the idea of sending workers home because of the pandemic ignited, companies first turned to the resources they already had on hand. These tools were readily available and well-understood by their users and didn’t require much of a change.
The next logical step is to look for tools they can source quickly and inexpensively. For many companies during COVID-19, collaboration and communication tools like Zoom, G Suite, and Slack became the equivalent of household names if they weren’t before.
Moving forward, companies should continue to look into scalable solutions that can better mobilize their workforce. Some of the best areas in which to invest include, but aren’t limited to:
Not all work from home opportunities are created equal. A distracting home environment or lack of internet access, a comfortable workspace, or office tools like printers and scanners create new challenges for implementing remote work. Companies should take these potential issues into account when developing remote work policies to ensure each employee is set up for success.
Leveraging a coworking space can help address many of these challenges. These professional workspaces provide all the tools and office equipment employees need to thrive. Companies may choose to pay for some or all of the cost of a coworking membership so that each employee can have an equal opportunity to work outside the office.
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