COVID-19 lockdowns and government restrictions have pushed tens of millions worldwide to work from home, accelerating a remote working experiment that had been struggling to catch on for more than a decade. In the process, it’s broken cultural and technological barriers to working beyond the office, structurally changing how many of us work, perhaps forever.
The benefits from moving from an office-as-factory model to remote working are clear: no longer being required to co-locate with peers, more flexible hours, and reduced commuting times leads to increases in business agility, independent work, productivity, and better work-life balance.
Remote working potentially allows companies to reduce their infrastructure overheads and increase access to the best talent from anywhere in the world. It’s allowed a Darwinian business model to come into play—those with better talent and decreased costs will win out over their competition.
A recent KPMG study shows 21% of CEOs are now planning to downsize physical office space (or have already done so) because of the pandemic and changing working habits. Another 51% will consider shared office spaces or flexspaces for increased flexibility, and 42% want to hire predominately remote talent.
Similarly, a Gartner, Inc. survey discovered nearly 3 in 4 CEOs plan to move at least 5% of their employees to permanent remote work positions
Will the remote work trend continue post-pandemic?
A recent McKinsey report suggests some answers. The research firm analysed the potential for remote work in 2000 activities across 800 occupations and 9 countries, including China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and the US.
Here are McKinsey’s findings:
The potential for remote work varies by sector, occupation, and activity mix. Business and financial services have the highest potential for remote work without losing pre-pandemic levels of productivity.
Are remote workers more productive?
Ultimately, this, more than anything, may determine remote work’s popularity, post-pandemic. McKinsey’s study results were inconclusive:
What does this mean for the future of workspaces?
Coworking spaces or remote team management packages are coming into play for many businesses looking to manage a mix of office and remote workers.
They’re the perfect solution for keeping remote teams connected by giving them everything they need to succeed while supporting them to do their best work, including delivering:
Find out more about flexspace solutions for remote work in our follow up article, How to futureproof your workspace, post-COVID.
Or contact our friendly team now to discover how Servcorp can help you manage your remote employees simply and effectively.