What’s going on with home office nowadays?
As 2021 begins to draw to a close, it is clear that the shift towards remote work that we have been experiencing since last year will continue. Companies continue to be hesitant to hire full-time employees just as employees are increasingly reluctant to fully return to the office.
Different surveys show similar results: more than 70% of employees globally believe that remote work will definitely become the new normal. This opinion is also shared by entrepreneurs in almost the same proportion, which indicates a challenge not only for traditional office spaces, but also for coworking spaces.
Throughout the year we have seen how many companies –most of them belonging to the digital world such as Twitter and Salesforce– announced that they will give all employees the option of working from home permanently, installing a hybrid work scheme. With the precedent these companies are setting, along with the expectations of employees, not having a remote work option will become increasingly detrimental to a company's progress. It's clear today that remote work is here to stay: there are more remote jobs available than ever before. Employees are happier with the new arrangements and the flexibility it offers. But, in what ways has remote work been taking place? How will it go on?
More and more remote jobs are available
We know that employment works according to the market, and working remotely has been a fundamental change that has been driving more and more changes in work dynamics. As more job applicants and employees work from home and express a desire to continue with their arrangements, workplaces have become more flexible to meet that demand. Remote work is currently expected to increase by 34% to match employee demand and that number is projected to grow as we see remote work become a new norm for many.
More and more organizations are expressing serious concern about cybersecurity risks when working from home. To rectify this, measures such as cybersecurity training, VPN implementation, and awareness of compliance and security across the board began to be carried out in different companies and organizations. It stands to reason that with more and more employees working from home, and in various destinations, there has been a greater focus on cybersecurity. Companies must balance flexibility with security, ensuring that employees can access files and work with computers from anywhere in the world, without compromising their security.
Employees are happy to work from home
One of the concerns when remote work was initially suggested was that employees would not be happy. It was felt that there would be too many distractions, that collaborations among team members would be hampered, and that it was important to come to the job site to get the job done.
The truth is that more and more surveys show that the majority of employees say they are happier to work from home, since they do not have to travel or go to the office. The ability to work from home seems to make people feel happier and more relaxed about their work as the pressure of the office environment is no longer there.
Work schedules have become more flexible
One of the challenges of working in an office was the lack of work/life balance. With so much time in the office, it was hard to find space for hobbies, interests, or even a little needed break. However, as the world moves towards remote work, many of these benefits are beginning to be real for people. Thus, employees enjoy a more flexible work model in which they can change the way they work to better suit their work and life style.
Retraining and upskilling are more important than ever
For both employees and employers, remote work has opened up more possibilities in terms of career paths. For employees seeking more flexibility and freedom in their work lives, reskilling and upskilling has become a growing trend as they search for a new job. That can include learning new skills through courses and diplomas – which are also delivered remotely – to add to your resume or take advantage of current roles to be more competitive against others.
There has been a rise in freelancing, and more workers are upskilling in areas like copywriting, web development, programming, and more to give themselves more room to explore new avenues.
Asynchronous communication has gotten much better
Now that there is more room for employee flexibility, team members can have different types of communication and work across multiple time zones as needed for better productivity. Without the pressure of quick responses, employees can work on their own time and collaborate in the way that works best for them.
What will be the future of remote work?
As we mentioned earlier, it's clear that remote work is here to stay. It will not be the only option, it is clear, but it cannot not be an option. Because? Not only because of what we listed above but also because productivity levels have remained stable and the nature of work has become easier for businesses and employees to manage. Remote work makes it easier to connect with teams at an individual pace and get work done in a calmer environment. For employees who miss the office environment, shared workspaces can help bridge that gap as a remote work environment without losing flexibility.
Thus, it is clear that what seemed, at first, a mere emergency decision and later a trend became a profound cultural change. A change of which we are just beginning to see its first dimensions and depths.