Will Online Jobs Rule The World
The Covid-19 epidemic caused a major upheaval in the global work economy in 2020. While working from home used to be a luxury offered by select employers, it has now become the standard for most.
70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month by 2025, according to estimates. While 2020 may be seen as the year of remote work, we believe it is just the beginning, since the trend is expected to continue in 2021.
Work From Home Becomes A Permanent Option
According to a poll conducted by Enterprise Technology Research, the number of people who work from home on a permanent basis is predicted to quadruple by 2021. (ETR).
“The productivity statistic demonstrates that remote work is effective,” Erik Bradley, ETR's principal engagement strategist, said. “So, we all expected some growth in permanent remote work, but we didn't anticipate it to quadruple from pre-pandemic levels,” says one participant.
According to a recent Gartner CFO poll, more than two-thirds of CFOs (74%) aim to permanently transfer staff to remote work after the Covid-19 situation is resolved. Big Tech corporations, as predicted, are leading the way. Employees at San Francisco-based Twitter were notified in May that they may work from home forever.
Around the same time, Square, which is also managed by Twitter's Jack Dorsey, implemented a similar policy, allowing staff to work from home indefinitely, even when offices reopen. In late May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg assured workers that many of them will be able to work remotely forever, with the company planning to do so until 2020.
Performance Management Is Impacted By Remote Work
Performance management has altered dramatically as a result of remote employment. Organizations will increasingly place a premium on results rather than hours spent, necessitating the use of tools and applications to oversee remote employee performance.
Employers will require insight into what employees are doing in order to enhance staff efficiency. Time Doctor, Timely, and TransparentBusiness are some examples of remote employee management software.
To manage production and cooperation while ensuring operational efficiency, it may be required to develop a new job role, such as Director of Remote Work.
Performance evaluations are being conducted on a regular basis rather than once a year in certain firms. As managers attempt to assist workers in navigating their job duties and meeting performance standards, continuous feedback will become more important.
In the new normal, rethinking goal-setting and establishing essential performance measures will be crucial to managing remote employees.
Remote Employment Necessitates The Use Of Cybersecurity
In 2021, as more companies allow a large portion of their employees to work remotely, cybersecurity will become even more of a worry. According to Cisco's Future of Secure Remote Work Report, 85 percent of respondents believe cybersecurity is as vital as it was before the epidemic.
A major source of worry is how data is accessed and how to adequately safeguard it. Organizations must think more strategically about cybersecurity spending and how to effectively secure personnel, data, and equipment, according to Jack Mannino, CEO of security company nVisium.
“Many firms have made considerable additional expenditures in their IT systems and infrastructure as a result of the transition to remote work,” Mannino added. “While many people have already made the transition, the secured debt that has been generated as a result of the procedure has not been handled in many instances. Securing a remote workforce requires a different attitude and creates a larger attack surface.”
The Covid-19 epidemic has shown that we may work from home and be productive at the same time. Even with their workers working remotely, 94 percent of companies claimed productivity was the same as or greater than before the epidemic, according to a poll by Mercer, an HR and workplace benefits consulting company.
Many adjustments will be required in the future of remote work, including investments in digital infrastructure and the release of office space. For most businesses, allowing workers to work outside of the office would need the re-invention of several procedures and regulations. The issue is whether the advantages will exceed the disadvantages. Only time will tell whether this is true.
The vaccine distribution in America is moving quicker than predicted, with the whole public being able to obtain their dose this week rather than in May or June as planned. As a result, some office employees in the United States are returning to work sooner than expected.
However, when they return and how frequently they're required to be at their workstations may differ significantly. As a return to work heats up, the degree to which American office employees are permitted to work from home — as the great majority of them did during the epidemic — will have an impact on everything from their job satisfaction to where they may reside.
This summer, workplaces are typically opening on an ad hoc basis, and in the autumn, there will be a greater expectation that personnel will be present. Knowledge employees will have the greatest flexibility.
These high-skilled professionals, whose employment is mediated by computers, will be considerably more likely than before the pandemic to be permitted to work from home at least part of the time, in what is known as the hybrid work paradigm.
However, a variety of circumstances, including the employee's profession, firm, and industry, will influence anything from which workers may work from home to the number of days they can do so.
Even in businesses that are well-suited to online employment, there is a wide variety of who is permitted to work from home. On one end of the scale, professionals in the banking and legal industries have always been less likely to work from home, despite the fact that their job may be done remotely.
Due to work cultures that value in-person connections, whether essential or not, these sectors are returning to the office sooner, and employees will be less likely than in other kinds of employment to be able to finish their job remotely.
On the other hand, other businesses, such as technology, are allowing people to work remotely on a permanent basis, such as Twitter and DropBox. Of course, even within the field of technology, there is diversity.
Amazon, which is infamous for its harsh corporate culture, aims to return most of its white-collar employees to the office by early autumn, citing a desire to revert to an “office-centric culture as our baseline.”
Companies that refuse to provide employees flexibility in where they work, on the other hand, will face opposition. Employees want to be able to work remotely part or all of the time, according to 89 percent of them.
Companies with stricter office rules may have difficulty attracting and retaining talent, with one in four employees indicating that they may leave their jobs following the pandemic, primarily because they want more flexibility.
Depending On Your Employment And Sector, You May Be Able To Continue Working Remotely
The topic of whether or not a certain sector is putting people back to work early is far from black-and-white. A variety of factors influence the future of office attendance. The McKinsey Global Institute examined over 2,000 activities in over 800 occupations to determine which had the greatest potential for remote work.
Jobs whose key duties entail updating knowledge and learning or dealing with computers, according to the authors, might be done largely remotely without sacrificing productivity. Jobs requiring the manipulation and movement of goods or the management of equipment, on the other hand, had to be done in person.
That implies that although certain occupations inside a corporation may be able to be done remotely in part or entirely, others are less probable.
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Employees on the business development team “with quick iterative sorts of cycles should be encouraged to spend more time together in physical venues created for interactions,” according to Anu Madgavkar, a partner at McKinsey Global Institute.
Backend web developers at the same e-commerce firm, on the other hand, “may spend significantly more time working on their own” from home.
“There's a gradation going on inside a corporation and even within teams,” Madgavkar remarked. Creating a business culture, negotiating, sales, first-time interactions with customers, onboarding, coaching, feedback, and problem-solving, especially within multidisciplinary teams, are all activities that need being in person.
Jobs with the greatest potential for remote work were concentrated in a few industries, including banking and insurance, management, and professional services. Construction, food services, and agriculture were among the industries with the least promise.
According to McKinsey, 20 to 25% of the workforce could work from home three to five days a week without sacrificing productivity. If you look at people who could work from home at least one day a week, it's 40%.
Computer and IT, project management, and marketing were the career categories with the most remote job posts on FlexJobs, a job portal for remote work.
However, just because work may be done well from a distance does not imply it will be. Even during the epidemic, a lot of sectors had cultural hurdles to remote labour that prohibited it from being done.
Law and finance occupations, although having a high potential for remote work, tend to demand more office time. During the epidemic, people in such sectors only worked remotely around half of the time.
After the epidemic, law and finance are expected to be resistant to remote employment. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has said that he would want “virtually all” traders and bank branch staff to return to physical locations, citing the inadequacies of remote work in terms of sustaining a company's culture.
Many people in the financial business share his views. Bloomberg, a financial journal, wants its staff back as soon as they've been vaccinated, setting it apart from the media industry's mixed approach.
While privacy and data security in finance is unquestionably a worry while working from home, they aren't insurmountable technological challenges (as evidenced by all the work in those fields that did get done with much of the workforce working remotely).
It's more of a cultural issue. Orsolya Kovács-Ondrejkovic, associate director of people strategy and human resources at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), told Recode, “Some sectors that technically might do it, maybe culturally aren't ready.” Investment banks, in particular, have a reputation for having contentious job requirements dependent on the whims of CEOs.
Investment bankers in New York who have to travel to Greenwich, Connecticut, are a good example. It's also worth remembering that during the epidemic, workers working from home denounced their employers for corporate misconduct at an unprecedented rate to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to data from Kastle Systems, an office security company that collects anonymized swipe-in data from 41,000 businesses across the country, law firms nationwide have had occupancy rates above average throughout the pandemic.
At the moment, law firms have a 40% occupancy rate, which is around 15% higher than the industry average. A stodgy, old-school attitude pervades many legal offices.
Law firms are also more likely than peers in other white-collar industries to have private offices, which is especially important for those worried about spreading disease in open office spaces.
It really depends on what the leadership does, and in finance and law firms, the leadership doesn't seem to be fully on board with remote work. This might have a negative impact on such industries in the future.
Workers may revolt. If their employers didn't offer remote work, a third to half of the employees said they'd quit. “Can these businesses still do it and expect people to return?” Yes, and individuals will most likely do so,” stated Kovács-Ondrejkovic.
“But, in the future five to ten years, would this present a problem with their talent pipeline?” Probably.” She believes the problem will become more important in the future years among young people who have successfully worked from home. “I believe five days in an office would simply seem very, very ancient for them,” she continued.
Remote employment will be increasingly common in industries like IT and STEM, where expertise is in great demand and future job growth is expected. “If you're in a talent-scarce business, you'll pick up on the fact that employees demand flexibility relatively fast and bake it into the talent value proposition,” McKinsey's Madgavkar said.
“Or you'll utilize [remote work] to target and access talent pools in places where you previously couldn't.” According to the authors of a BCG and The Network research released in March, the percentages of individuals who really worked from home during the pandemic would be a decent indicator of what proportion of people in such industries may work remotely — at least part of the time — post-pandemic.
While it's unknown how much office work will be done remotely, the outlook is certainly better than it was before the epidemic, when fewer than 5% of the workforce worked remotely.
The Transition Back To The Workplace Is Just Getting Started
According to Kastle Systems statistics, the average weekly office occupancy in April across all sectors in ten major US cities increased marginally to 26% last week. The greatest occupancy rates were found in Texas cities, with Dallas, Austin, and Houston all over 30%, while the lowest was found in San Francisco, where office occupancy was just 14%.
The low national occupancy rate has been relatively constant over the previous year, but Mark Ein, chairman of Kastle Systems, predicts a dramatic increase in the coming months as the working-age population completes its vaccination cycle.
It will most certainly take a few months for Americans to schedule and get both vaccination shots, as well as for them to be completely effective when they become generally accessible. Ein, whose company sells software for real workplaces, is especially optimistic about the return to work.
“There won't be any reason individuals shouldn't be back in the workplace after they've been vaccinated,” Ein added. “Even those who embraced working from home early on are considering returning to the workforce.”
They're eager to accomplish things that are tough to do from home, including rebuilding their work culture and collaborating with new staff, he adds. People who have experienced the benefits of working from home will most likely desire to continue doing so.
According to the BCG report, over 90% of employees prefer to work from home at least part of the time. Many firms consider remote work as a less expensive alternative to expensive office space, or at the very least as a method to reduce their real estate footprint.
There has also been a significant increase in the number of remote employment available. Between 2019 and 2020, the number of totally remote job ads on FlexJobs increased by 76 percent, while the number of partly remote job postings increased by nearly 20 percent (there are now roughly equal numbers of each on the site).
All of this to say, the future of office work will most certainly take the form of a hybrid paradigm, somewhere between entirely remote and fully in-office employment.
The gap in remote work permits before and after the epidemic, according to Jamie Hodari, CEO and co-founder of the coworking office space startup Industrious, is comparable to the difference between high school and college.
Compared to the relative liberty college students had to come and go as they chose, people's actions and days were considerably more regimented in high school. As a result, office employees will have much greater flexibility in terms of where and when they work.
Hodari expands on the metaphor, advocating for a mix of remote and in-person work: Completely remote jobs may struggle to preserve their culture and fulfill specific responsibilities, much as online universities have lower graduation rates than in-person institutions.
Employers that provide a combination of remote and in-person work to their employees will be able to retain their corporate culture and complete important in-office tasks while still providing employees with the freedom they need. In jobs when this isn't the case, there may be a conflict between employers and workers. In any event, if your manager is pressuring you to return to the office when you want to work from home, your chances of finding a new remote job have never been stronger.
The COVID-19 Pandemic was an accelerator for remote work. I know of Government people who are working from home for good. The trend already started beforehand though. It is more economical for the companies and their employees are more productive.
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