Telecommuting is the New Normal in 2020: Will it Prevail in the Next Decade?
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen many companies allowing employees to work from home. With social distancing as the order of the day, remote working, where possible, is preferable. The next question is, what happens in a post-COVID-19 society? Will telecommuting continue, or will companies revert to a more conventional business model?
The Short Answer
Yes, telecommuting will continue into the next decade.
The primary among these is achieving a better work-life balance. Employees don’t have to waste time commuting and may structure their day more effectively for them.
Does Business Accept the Idea of Telecommuting?
Businesses may have initially been reluctant to allow workers to work remotely. Companies were loath to relinquish the idea of the traditional working day. Coronavirus forced many to overcome those concerns.
Naturally, not all positions lend themselves to remote work. With those that do, many companies now see the benefits of this model first-hand.
With both workers and businesses benefitting, it’s likely going to be too difficult to return to the typical working day.
Benefits of Remote Working to Companies
According to Teamstage, remote working improves productivity by as much as 65%. While you may believe that there are more distractions in a home working environment, the opposite is often true.
Employees can focus on their work better without watercooler gossip and unnecessary calls. Staff may also achieve a more equitable home-life balance. They may work during times when they’re most productive.
Say, for example, a worker needs to fetch their children from school. In a conventional environment, that would mean rushing around during their lunch break. When working from home, they may set aside a reasonable amount of time for the task and make up the time later in the day.
Companies also benefit from reduced costs. With employees working from home or co-working spaces, businesses may reduce rental costs. Workers will use their resources, reducing infrastructural expenses for firms.
The concept extends the hiring pool. Companies no longer have to rely on locally available talent. They may source the best workers from across the globe. The increased pool makes it simpler for employees to find workers willing to work for less.
The Concerns for Companies
Data security is a primary concern for companies. Problems range from physical security to who else in the home accesses the worker’s internet connection. With the threat of cybercrime through IoT devices rising, these are valid concerns.
Companies may alleviate such concerns by providing employees with a dedicated internet service. They’ll additionally need to monitor who accesses the connection and ensure that they put strict security policies in place.
A further concern is the quality of service delivery for support services. It’s simple for a call center, for example, to convert to a remote working model. In India and the Philippines, many support centers have had to do so.
They’ve encountered difficulties with the quality of their employee’s home internet connections. Not all workers have access to high-speed services, and this impacts productivity and service delivery.
Another issue may be that workers don’t have sufficient space to create a dedicated working zone.
Telecommuting poses some challenges for business. The potential benefits, however, far outweigh the disadvantages. Firms benefit through increased employee satisfaction, lower costs, and better productivity.
Employees benefit through a healthier work-life balance, increased flexibility, and the ability to work in a less distracting environment.
Telecommuting will prevail long after coronavirus is a distant memory. It is the new normal.
Here’s a related infographic on how ‘Gig Economy’ is going to reshape the industry in the coming days –