Remote Working Is Here To Stay, Post Covid-19

Working remotely has become part of our lives over the past year; and there have been questions as to whether the work from home initiative will remain with us for the foreseeable future. 

Although there have been major positives for employees working remotely, others have argued that instead of adopting a full time working approach, there should be some flexibility with how many days are spent in the office and the amount of days allowed to work remotely. 

A study conducted by Nerd Wallet, surveying 2,000 adults in the UK found that 71% of people consider flexible working – in terms of both the hours and location they work – as important to their job satisfaction.  The same study concluded that on the flip side, half (50%) cannot work remotely when they want or need to, and 46 percent have no flexibility in the hours they work.

The BBC conducted a survey in August 2020, to discover the plans of 50 big UK businesses had for returning to the working environment post Covid-19.

Key findings from their survey concluded: 

  • 24 companies had no plans to return employees to the office 
  • 20 companies opened up workspaces for those unable to work from home 

One business owner in Birmingham said she was ‘giving up her office forever’. 

Who will be doing remote work? 

Working remotely is likely to stay after the pandemic. With the perks that employees experience such as spending more time with their families and having to travel less, businesses won’t expect their employees to return to the office on a full time basis. 

As the likelihood of future jobs becoming remote, the question is: who will be doing remote work and what sectors will this affect? 

Those that work in the digital sector, will find that most of their positions can be worked remotely. According to InSight, the top 5 most popular fields for working remotely include: 

  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Marketing 
  • Business Administration and Management 
  • Mobile App development 
  • Shopping (eCommerce) 

These jobs do no necessarily require employees to be in the office; as long as  they can maintain effective communication. 

Although there are huge advantages to working remotely in the future, there are also challenges both for businesses and employees to overcome. One of the main challenges businesses will face, will be onboarding candidates remotely. Ensuring new starters have all the resources and support they need in the early stages of a new position will be vital. 

Workspace may prove a difficulty for some. Finding space to work consistently and without distraction can be tricky, and some workers may feel they work effectively in an office around their colleagues. According to Statista, the biggest challenge workers have faced while working from home is dealing with distractions (47%) and collaborating with colleagues and clients (35%). 

Should new starters begin their roles, if they lack the essentials to work effectively, the employee and businesses will have to make sure they are well-equipped for day-to-day work. 

Of course, the economic recovery is centre to how much businesses allow their workforce to work from home. Most of the advantages of working remotely, are the economy’s disadvantage. You’re not likely to spend money on travelling each day, your lunch costs are cut down and any social activities with the workforce are limited. 

There are so many positives to maintaining a work from home initiative, but there are also some challenges. As workers look to adapt to the future due to the impact of Covid-19, businesses will have the responsibility steps to mitigate the consequences and help workers navigate the emerging new world of work.