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How Coronavirus is Driving Remote Work: The Pros & Cons

Remote work is shaping how the global workspace is operating. This is not a trend that is showing signs of slowing down or going away. Being able to work remotely is not just for the rich and the wanderers anymore, it is being incorporated in some of the largest businesses all over the world. Now with the coronavirus pandemic, it has affected the business world immensely. Both huge companies and smaller businesses alike are actually encouraging remote work.

Yelena Petic

Remote work is shaping how the global work space is operating. This is not a trend that is showing signs of slowing down or going away. Being able to work remotely is not just for the rich and the wanderers anymore, it is being incorporated in some of the largest businesses all over the world. 


Now with the coronavirus pandemic, it has affected the business world immensely. Both huge companies and smaller businesses alike are actually encouraging remote work. 

Think about what has just happened with Shopify the company has now offered its employees a $1,000 each to furnish their home set-ups with whatever equipment needed to work remotely. Twitter has made it mandatory for employees to work from home due to coronavirus.

 Google,  investment bank JPMorgan are also some of the companies testing out remote work policies.


Now with that being said this was a big trend already taking off before the coronavirus infiltrated the business world. More and more employees are working in remote positions, either full-time or some days of the week, with a large percentage of the workforce looking towards finding job opportunities to completely work remotely.


Companies are also embracing this idea, increasingly using flexible work options. Employers are using remote work as an incentive to attract people for “location independent” positions. This allows companies to open themselves up to hire from a larger and more diverse pool of applicants.



Take a look at some of the stats below, it really opens your eyes to see how much remote working has increased since 2015. Statistics provided by Flexjobs


Between 2005 to 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote work. In 2015, 3.9 million U.S. workers were working remotely. Today that number is at 4.7 million, or 3.4% of the population.

Remote work growth for the past 5, 10, and 12 years


It’s projected that 75% of professionals will be working remotely in some way by the end of 2020. This has become such a global trend in business that many countries are setting up wi-fi spaces for these “digital nomads”' be it in an airport, hotel or restaurant/cafe. It allows professionals to access their work online but also to travel and enjoy those countries, it is a chain effect of benefits for all parties! 

As much as having the freedom not to be in a traditional office space is wonderful and exciting you really need to look at all sides of working remotely, kind of like the good the bad and the ugly. 


Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of remote work for both the employer and employee.


Pros:

  • Less cost of living
  • More travel 
  • Increases productivity
  • Known to reduce employee stress
  • Improvement of work-life balance while maintaining or increasing effectiveness in the role
  • Remote employees are known to take less sick days
  • Commuting time is spent working rather than it being wasted time.
  • Low-cost flexibility for startups
  • Wider choice of candidates to employ

Cons:

  • No work social life/team building
  • Communication challenges
  • Lack of routine
  • Distractions
  • Less team interaction and a loss of a feeling of community and shared values
  • Larger costs around technology and IT support
  • New management style will need to be implemented
  • Impact on company culture
  • Trust level needed.


There are definite solutions to the cons, just as there are benefits to the pros. In the end, it is all about working with the right type of person and having open communication about expectations from the beginning.

This pertains to both sides of the spectrum, both the employer looking out for the business in the end and the employee looking to benefit themselves in the best way possible. Both need to find the right fit and what works the best for both parties. 


Remote work is most definitely here to stay and it will continue to grow globally. 


Links below are remote work job finders:

https://www.linkedin.com/company/remote-jobs/

https://remote.co/part-time-remote-jobs/