Trends for Remote Work in the Global Labor Market

Working from home is definitely no stranger to much of society. Over the past year, of course, the increase in work from home has been driven by external conditions, which have forced tens of millions of people to move to it. But even before that, there was a greater tendency for people to choose to work remotely. It cannot be said that it is clearly better or worse; it has its pros and cons, which we will look at in more detail. Read more: What to Do When Leading a Remotely Working Team.

Work from home in the eyes of an employee

A 2019 survey by LinkedIn found that 82% of employees in the United States want to work from home at least once a week in a variety of fields, while about 57% want to spend at least 3 days a week at home. [1] Thus, it can be seen that even before the 2020 pandemic, more than half of workers in various sectors were ready to move remotely almost completely. This move to remote work could be explained by the huge number of shared offices and the growing number of companies with an interest in employing a large proportion of employees remotely to reduce office maintenance costs. Many employees consider this to be a great opportunity to start various activities in parallel with work.

Work from home in the eyes of the employer

In recent years, not only have many employees wanted to move from home to work, but many companies are also working to ensure that most employees can perform their duties in this format. At first glance, it may seem that the most significant benefits are for the employees, but in reality, the employer also has a considerable chance of benefiting from this situation. One of the biggest could be the opportunity to hire the best professionals in the world without worrying about different geographical locations. Read more: Top Mistakes When Leading a Remotely Working Team.

Businesses would also benefit, as it would no longer be necessary to provide such a large amount of workspace and offices, as most work would only take place remotely. It has been proven that working from home is much more efficient if the basic rules are followed, and there is sufficient motivation. That means that the company’s development would move faster because all employees would work more productively.

Hybrid working model or ~ 50/50

We sketched this type of model at the beginning, and now let’s look at it in more detail. In the above survey, we found that around 60% of Canadian and Australian participants would be willing to switch to the 50/50 model or even spend more time working remotely. In other countries, such as the United Kingdom, almost 40% of the population is expected to switch to a similar model. At the same time, employment expert Alicia Tung estimates that the 40/60 model could develop rapidly in China within 10 years. Similarly, in the United States, about 55% of workers want to work part-time, remotely, and in person. [6] This model is so relevant because it would provide an orderly system, socialization, independence, flexibility, and adaptability. The hybrid system would allow face-to-face meetings to discuss progress and any other topical issues that would ensure the organization of the work of these already mentioned bodies. At the same time, such a working model provides ample choice. Choosing where to work and when to do your duties provides an aspect of freedom and independence, which could also be the main reason why a hybrid work style might seem so attractive to a worker.

Pros of working from home

  • The opportunity to save money and time that would normally be spent on the way to and from work, as well as on meals outside the workplace. Less movement around also ensures less air pollution, as less and less use is made of private cars, as well as buses.
  • Possibility to freely choose the place from which to work, whether it is a bedroom, study, or yard. It is also possible to arrange everything for one’s own needs as one wishes.
  • Higher productivity and efficiency, as shown by a survey conducted by FlexJobs in 2019, where 65% of employees indicated that they are able to perform their tasks much faster and with better quality from home [8].
  • Greater freedom to perform tasks, i.e., perform them at a time when it is more convenient. Choosing when to perform the required duties allows the employee to be more flexible and to perform tasks when they can be performed in the highest quality.
  • Working from home helps to reduce the level of stress for the employee because the home has a closer atmosphere, which provides a sense of security in any situation.
  • More time with family. The fact that there is no need to go to the office and then back, can save many unimaginably many times, as they usually spend several hours on the road. Also, it is possible to plan one lunch with the other family members, when it is possible to relax a little and discuss the beginning of the day.

Cons of working from home

  • Adapting work processes to home conditions can be quite a challenge, as the operating system and all internal processes need to be redesigned. Work at home has a much different infrastructure, both on the part of the employer and the employee himself. Transition can often be difficult and, if not completed, can have a negative and lasting impact on the future work process.
  • For many, being at home creates a feeling of rest, so it is very difficult for these people to cling to any duties, and they lack the motivation and willpower to cling to something at all.
  • Sometimes it can become very awkward and boring to work from home because there are no colleagues to talk to about various non-work-related topics. Socialization is in human nature, so, especially after spending a long time at home, there is a desire to be with your closest colleagues.
  • Getting an answer to an important or less important question, or getting a little help, can take a much longer period of time than getting to the office by asking a colleague or responsible person who is right next door at the time.

Tips for more efficient work from home

  • Plan your working hours at home as well. Plan your tasks clearly and lightly, and try to stick to that plan. Planning also means not reworking, i.e., finishing work on time to focus on other activities you want to spend your time on.
  • Get rid of distractions. During work, unnecessary notifications on the phone, computer are switched off. Limit yourself from a variety of objects around that might evoke thoughts of some other activity or entertainment until the necessary tasks are completed.
  • Schedule regular breaks to rest your whole body from a prolonged activity at the screen so you can get back to it with fresh energy.
  • At home, set precise rules for when someone in the family may be disturbed by their presence so that there is no situation that regularly someone would disrupt work.
  • Allocate a separate room or part of it only for work and arrange it to motivate work. Other places could lower productivity and quality.

Read more: Motivation while Working from Home.

We can conclude that the trend from work to home will definitely continue to develop rapidly, and COVID-19 will have accelerated this process rapidly. It is possible to see a huge number of opportunities to address this issue, so it is impossible to clearly say whether we will come to a specific, unified system of work organization, which we will see spread to all regions of the world. There are also a number of advantages to working remotely, both for employers and employees. At the moment, there are enough disadvantages that may deter it. Still, we will certainly see various solutions in the coming years to reduce and even eliminate them, which will allow quality employment from home.

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