Employees around the world are suddenly working from home full-time. Find out how to make this new reality work for your organization, whether it will last beyond the pandemic, and where it might take us.
The Covid-19 outbreak has led to a worldwide experiment in remote working as employees across the world are forced to self-isolate. But will workers return to the office en masse once the disruption caused by the pandemic ends? Or will working from home become the new normal?
Remote working, once quaintly known as telecommuting, has been on the rise for decades, thanks to the availability of digital communication and collaboration tools that enable staff to do their jobs outside of the physical office. The trend has accelerated in recent years, aided by a new breed of business-focused group chat apps like Slack and more reliable, user-friendly videoconferencing tools that make it easier to connect with colleagues and be productive without sitting the same office, or even the same country.
Remote working increased by 159% between 2005 and 2017, according to an analysis of U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data by FlexJobs, a job search site specializing in remote and flex-time jobs, and research firm Global Workplace Analytics. Despite advances in technology and steady growth in adoption, however, remote workers remained in a minority — just 3.4% of the workforce (4.7 million), according to the FlexJobs study.