It has been almost ten months since the CDC announced the United State’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. In these ten months, nations worldwide have undergone severe changes in attempts to slow the pandemic’s infection rate; one such change has been the shift of office to remote workers. Jim Thomas, an Atlanta native Senior Executive, and Advisor, has seen the adjustments many businesses have made to accommodate this workforce change and believes some of these changes will drastically affect US businesses and American workers. Below, James Thomas of the Atlanta area will discuss some of the ways COVID-19’s remote working has changed companies around the globe.
Future Remote and Hybrid Working
A recent Future Forum study asked 4,700 workers whether or not they wanted to return to in-office working. The majority, 88%, responded that they never wanted to return to full-time in office work, and 72% said they would want a hybrid remote-office model. Prior to COVID-19, many offices didn’t offer any remote working opportunities for their employees, as it was widely believed to reduce worker productivity and team communication. Many studies have found that remote workers are 20-25% more productive than their office counterparts. To this end, now that the majority of businesses have switched to a remote model and seen little variations in productivity, many experts believe that companies will offer remote work options after a COVID-19 vaccine has been made available.
Now that the business world has relied on video communication technology for the past year, this technology will likely continue to influence the way businesses and teams communicate. Not only have these technologies been used as a communication tool between colleagues over the past year, but many small business owners have also used video communication apps like Zoom and Ring to connect with and build their customer base. Companies are seeing the various benefits of these telecommunication apps and are likely to use them not only for not only business and team meetings but for international conferences and large scale events.
While women make up the majority of entry-level workers, less than thirty percent of women hold senior management or leadership positions in business. Primarily this has been due to women being more likely to prioritize family obligations than their male counterparts. However, the global shift toward remote working is expected to make a large difference regarding the gender inequality gap. Remote workers will have more flexibility in choosing when and where they work and help improve work-life balances. Other studies have found that fathers are more likely to take on additional childcare responsibilities when working from home. To this end, remote working may help increase the number of women in senior management and leadership positions.