The entire world is facing lockdown in an attempt to stop the spread of Coronavirus. It is affecting millions of people in multiple countries, and it presents us with several unprecedented challenges, some of which are linked to remote working, mental health, and physical well being. Well, many countries have closed their schools, universities, movie-theatres – places where a large number of people gather. To avoid the spread of this pandemic, most of the companies have mandated their employees to work from home until the situation gets better.
High provisional companies like Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Hitachi, Apple, Amazon, etc., have adopted work from home policy. According to an IWG study on flexible working attitudes that surveyed over 18,000 professionals from a range of different industries across 96 countries, two-thirds of global employees work remotely every week. Some employees might be working from home for the first time, which means how to work on the task in a new environment that may not be productive. But, there is a chance that some companies will realize that having remote employees is more beneficial for their business.
Remote work is a working style that allows professionals to work outside of a traditional office environment. Instead of commuting to your office every day, remote employees can execute their projects, and surpass their goals as they please. A special analysis done by FlexJobs, and Global Workplace Analytics found that there has been a major upward trend in the number of people working remotely in the U.S. In the span of one year, from 2016 to 2017, remote work grew 7.9%. Over the last five years, it grew 44%; and over the previous 10 years, it grew 91%. Between 2005 to 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote work. In 2015, 3.9 million U.S. workers were working remotely. Today that number is at 4.7 million, or 3.4% of the population.
Even before COVID-19, there was already high growth and adoption in education technology, with global tech investments reaching US$18.66 billion in 2019 and the overall market for online education projected to reach $350 Billion by 2025. Whether it is language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools, or online learning software, there has been a significant surge in usage since COVID-19. The schools cannot run without significant student engagement, teachers at least need virtual conferencing facilities and the administration team needs the network to the maximum.
Information and communications technologies (ICT) have revolutionized everyday work and life in the 21st century. They enable people to connect with friends and family as well as with work colleagues and supervisors at any point in time; however, they also facilitate the encroachment of paid work into the spaces and times normally reserved for personal life. Today’s office work and more broadly, knowledge work, is supported by the internet, which can be carried out from practically any location and at any time.
This new spatial independence has transformed the role of technology in the work environment, offering both new opportunities and new challenges. To be productive there are some common requirements to be available by both learners and the remote workers. Here are a few of the requirements,
- Computer or Laptop
- A good internet connection
- Their schedule on work
- Dedicated workplace
- Optionally a mobile
- Virtual applications
Is it possible to work at the office in this current situation? Should remote work opportunities be much more prevalent nowadays? Is working remotely a good idea? Do you have such questions in your mind? If so, here are the answers. Yes, there is, but only a moderate possibility to work in an office nowadays with 30% or less than that. It’s quite difficult to work as a team in a office room due to COVID-19. And I do believe that remote work opportunities should be more common nowadays. Remote work is a reality today and happening now. Companies that encourage and support remote work often report higher levels of employee retention and engagement, reduced turnover, higher employee satisfaction, increased productivity and autonomy, and lots of other benefits.
Remote work statistics tell us that 18% of people work remotely full-time. More than 4.3 million people in the USA work remotely, which is 3.2% of the entire workforce. Around 16% of companies hire only full-time remote workers, but 44% of them still don’t allow remote work at all. According to a Gartner, Incorporate survey of 317 CFOs and Finance leaders on March 30, 2020, it revealed that 74% will move at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-COVID 19.
Considering the pandemic spread of disease, in the upcoming days remote working will be more prevalent and this signifies that there will be more remote work opportunities to the people.
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