2020 was a breakout year for remote work. Even though many companies were already allowing users to work remotely, the pandemic gave companies little choice but to jump in with both feet. So, what’s ahead for 2021?
The good news is remote work actually worked. Companies found that employees were as productive or in some cases, even more productive than working from the office. Looking ahead to 2021, remote work is expected to become even easier, possibly less isolating and in some cases financially rewarding.
Here are a few ways that experts think remote work will change, expand, and improve the way companies and people connect.
Remote work becomes permanent
The number of workers in small to medium-sized businesses working from home is expected to double in 2021. And it may surprise you to learn that two-thirds of companies plan to permanently shift their people to remote work, even after the COVID crisis ends.
Not surprising some of the Tech giants like Twitter, Square, and Facebook told many employees that they would be working remotely permanently. And Google is working totally remotely until July 2021, and then will reassess after that. For years, Google has boasted about their amazing campus with massages, private chefs, Zen rooms … and now they are talking about it all going away … wow!
Attracting exciting talent from across the Globe
Offering, advocating and supporting a remote workforce is a game changer for hiring. Remote working arrangements can be incredibly helpful in recruiting and retaining the best people basically from anywhere in the world. This is a BIG equalizer as small and mid-sized businesses can now compete with larger companies with swanky office spaces.
Embracing a remote workforce offers the top talent more flexibility and shows a company’s commitment to a great work-life balance. And expands a company’s reach, allowing them to recruit from places never imaginable a couple of years ago.
Remote work requires intentional engagement
Remote employees lose the opportunity to engage with their friends and fellow workers and can lead to a feeling of isolation. Companies are developing clear plans on how to engage their people. Employees are diving in too and are assuming the responsibility to be involved in online company events to continue to foster their treasured work-relationships.
Remote work will start to feel more natural
People had to dramatically change their lives and routines because of COVID. For some it has been extremely challenging. Large households or families with younger kids at home has shown to be especially challenging.
But it is getting better and easier, and the growing pains of working remotely are starting to fall behind us. People and families are figuring it out. Many have established new routines and really creative habits, making their remote work more comfortable … and many families are reporting a renewed feeling of “closeness” in these new environments.
Remote workers might enjoy more travel in the future
One of the coolest things with fully-functional remote work is that it opens the door to work from wherever they want. Travelling to exotic places used to require a week or more of vacation time, but many people are already travelling to exotic retreats and are setting up their remote offices there.
This is the kind of freedom that remote work offers … and the opportunities will only get more and more creative as 2021 unfolds.
Cybersecurity is VITAL
Staying safe in this new environment will be very challenging. When workers were inside the confines of the office they were also inside the confines of the company’s security platform including things like: firewalls, network monitoring, user authentication, intrusion detection … and much more.
Typically, the remote office has very little of this protective infrastructure. Remote workers are going to need to learn to think differently, and they are going to need to be wary of the tricks of cyber criminals. Companies will need to enforce things like 2-factor authentication to help keep their data and systems secure.
Remote is the future
The ability to work remotely is awesome. It is another step in levelling the playing field allowing more and more companies to deliver their products and services to their communities. Each week there are new developments that make the remote office better and more robust.
2021 will be an exciting year … and remote work will play a big part in it!