Is Remote Work the New Normal?

It seems that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, remote work has been on everyone’s mind.

It’s true that millions of people who normally would go to an office to work are now working from remotely—as much as 81 percent of all workers according to one Gartner survey.

The same survey found that about 40 percent of workers will continue to work remotely even after the pandemic is over. Another often-cited study predicts that 25-30 percent of the workforce will work remotely by 2021.

Add in a number of benefits to a business—higher productivity, lower real estate and office costs—as well as the positive environmental impact this new remote working trend has brought about, and it’s probably no surprise that remote working is quickly becoming the new normal.

Of course, this shift to remote has been brewing for a number of years thanks to widespread technologies that enable people to access resources and software they need to perform their duties from anywhere. Indeed, an article from 2019 asked, “Is It Time to Let Employees Work from Anywhere?

It’s highly likely that more and more workers will expect to be able to work remotely now that they’ve seen the benefits of it.

According to a 2019 survey by Owl Labs, which makes smart video conferencing technology, remote workers are 13 percent more likely to stay in their jobs, while a whopping 55 percent say they’re more likely to look for a new job if remote working was no longer an option. What’s more, 61 percent workers expect to be compensated for having to come into the office.

So, what happens to the workforce if remote work promotes more job hopping? One likely scenario is that more and more workers become self-employed. Without the need to be in a particular place at a particular time for a set number of hours, workers are going to crave the flexibility that remote work offers, and the easiest way to achieve that is by working independently. And with more businesses seeing the benefits of allowing remote workers, they’ll probably find it more economical to hire freelancers for certain roles and functions.

What’s more, there will likely be an increased demand from businesses for skilled remote workers, particularly freelance or independent contract workers. There are a number of benefits to businesses that shift resources away from hiring full-time employees to freelancers, including having access to a far larger pool of candidates and lowering costs. (Check out this earlier blog post for a more in-depth comparison to hiring in-house vs. freelance workers.)

All of this points to a larger cultural shift to how, where, and when work gets done, but also who firms hire. In the past, companies may have felt somewhat of a stigma of hiring remote workers in developing countries. Concerns over language, culture, and other differences between outsourced workers and their hiring companies were not unfounded and sometimes outweighed cost savings.

But as technology has empowered the rise of the gig economy, hiring workers from developing countries for all types of roles has slowly become the norm. And now, thanks to the global pandemic, companies may be more willing to give these workers a chance.

Of course, it can help to have someone to help guide you through this new normal. That’s where Thankz comes in. Our new global marketplace for remote workers and freelancers is designed to be easy to find and hire the best employees or freelancers for nearly any role you can think of. And for those who need a little more help, we offer Thankz Concierge, where we find the best candidates for you.

Want to learn more? Sign up as an employer today and start exploring everything Thankz has to offer.