Sign in

What COVID-19 Means for The Future of Remote Work?

Blake Davies
What COVID-19 Means for The Future of Remote Work?

The fear of COVID-19 and attempts to try and slow down its spread across the globe has led to a situation where a lot of businesses shut down their operations and attempt with the telecommute working model. Of course, there are a lot of businesses that had practised this model for years (and with a great success rate), nonetheless, for a lot of employees, entrepreneurs and organizations this is a brand new concept. With that in mind and without further ado, we need to ask the question of – what COVID-19 means for the future of remote work? Let’s find out!

A lot of people are trying it out

The first thing worth mentioning is the fact that there are a lot of people who were telecommuting (at least partially) even before the pandemic. However, there are also a lot of those who have never before tried anything like it. For some of them, this will be pure torture but others will quickly come to realize that this might not have been so bad as they have imagined. Sure, even those who are not impressed with the concept are unlikely to leave their posts (especially now that there’s virtually no alternative), however, there are also those who might decide not to go back. Instead, they might look for a remote work even after the quarantine laws and rules are no longer active.

The employers might take another perspective

Speaking about trying new things, there are a lot of employers who are just now realizing how many posts within their enterprise can be done from home. So, the big question is – after their employees can return to the office, is there really a need for such a thing? In some posts, definitely, however, should those who can work remotely also come back? A smaller on-spot staff means that you can get by with a smaller office, that you have to pay fewer commute benefits and avoid a lot of unnecessary expenses. In other words, the existing structure of business work may forever change.

Online businesses are booming

While it may seem like the industry is in shambles (or will be very soon), the truth is that online streaming services, apps and e-commerce are probably doing better than ever before. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that while these businesses exist online, they are usually focused on the local market in order to offer quick deliveries. The same goes for the entertainment industry. In other words, the number of job positions within these industries is unlikely to go down and the vast majority of these companies might see substantial growth in the following period. An increase in revenue of the existing companies means that the industry itself will become far more appealing to newcomers.

The upgrade to one’s tech arsenal

The next thing that we have to mention is the fact that there are a lot of tech practices and tools that remote workers are using quite effectively. For instance, in a traditional office, an average person spends 31 hours each month (again, on average) on useless meetings. In a virtual workspace and with modern web conferencing solutions this can easily be reduced to a minimum. Not to mention that tech support and remote access tools are becoming invaluable now that the telecommuter population is at its peak.

Higher specialization

A lot of the remote workers now have more time to dedicate to telecommuting. You see, a lot of people telecommuted as a part-time, while still having a traditional day job. The thing is that now they can invest more hours in their remote work. Other than this, with more available time and so many free online courses (even some incredibly prestigious courses), there’s much more opportunity for self-improvement. Either way, by the end of the self-isolation and quarantine, the global remote worker population will be far more skilled and experienced than ever before.

More content

A huge portion of a remote workforce is engaged in the digital marketing industry, in one way or another. People are at home, they are bored and they have access to unlimited broadband. So, what do they do? They consume unparalleled amounts of content. This is one of the reasons why so many enterprises out there are exploring the idea of how to do content marketing on a low budget? There are also a lot of creatives who are just now exploring their artistic side. The number of self-publishing authors is growing as well, not to mention graphic designers, musicians, etc.

Online office culture

One last thing worth mentioning is the issue of online business environment culture. It’s far easier to push yourself to stay productive in a traditional office. It is, however, far more different to do so at home, without supervision (in a traditional sense). A lot of people believe that they could do their job just as easily from their living room couch, only to discover that nothing could be further from the truth. This is why so many people build home offices and force themselves into a productive routine. Beating procrastination on your own requires a tremendous amount of discipline.

In conclusion 

As you can see, every action has a reaction, which means that for every traditional business shutting down, there may soon be an opening in the digital environment. There are a lot of functions that our society simply cannot function without, which is why there’s an attempt to digitalize as many of them as possible or, at least, find a suitable alternative. Regardless of how long this lasts and what the outcome may be (on the global economy), one thing is certain – the world of remote work will be forever changed.

Blake Davies
Zupyak is the world’s largest content marketing community, with over 400 000 members and 3 million articles. Explore and get your content discovered.
Read more