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The Future of Remote Working: Will it Stay After the Pandemic?

Remote working is not new. It has been around long before the pandemic. Since Skype and other video-conferencing platforms became available, many businesses already began hiring remote workers, or fully operating remotely. However, it wasn’t the norm until the pandemic hit.

Given that many businesses were forced to function remotely during the lockdowns and until today, they have seen the amazing benefits of the setup. For one thing, it enabled them to continue their operations amid the crisis. It helped them manage to maintain productivity and cashflow.

But now that restrictions have been eased, will remote work continue to be the norm, or will we open our commercial office spaces again?

What the Surveys Say

McKinsey surveyed nine countries (China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.) to find out which of them has the greatest potential for remote work. Jobs that required physical presence, such as healthcare, deliveries, and retail, weren’t considered in the survey.

The results revealed that 20% of the workforce in all nine countries could work remotely three to five days a week, with its effectivity no different than the office work’s. However, the potential for remote working varied from country to country. The U.K. had the best potential for remote work because their workforce could function remotely one-third of the time without hurting their productivity. The case is the same in other countries with a flourishing economy; their workforce could operate remotely 20% to 30% of the time without a decline in productivity.

But in China, India, and Mexico, the labor markets rely heavily on occupations that require physical presence. As such, their remote work potential was only 12% to 26%.

In the U.S., 22% of employees could work remotely three to five days a week, a significant difference from India, where only 5% of their employees could do so.

As for remote working after the pandemic, a separate survey from McKinsey revealed that 38% of corporate executives expected their remote employees to work two or more days a week from home after the pandemic. Before COVID-19, only 22% of corporate executives were open to remote working.

Remote Working Saves Money

Both business owners and employees can save money from working remotely. On the business owner’s end, the setup spares them the cost of rent and utilities, cleaning services, food, and taxes. Indeed, if most of their team works from home, they no longer need a spacious office with costly utilities. In consequence, they won’t pay as much for janitorial services anymore, they’ll cut down food expenses, and ultimately reduce their tax burden.

In addition, companies may reduce payroll costs with remote employees. Research shows that employees would rather have flexible working schedules than receive pay raises.

Working remotely

Remote working is rather beneficial for digital nomads hoping to run their own companies, too. RV dwellers, in particular, can set up their own companies from their vans. The same can be done by people who’d like to start a business without renting an office space. A high-quality toy hauler can support the operations of any of the following businesses:

  • Locksmithing or Key-making
  • Knife Sharpening
  • Sign Making
  • Tour Guiding (in which tourists can rent out the toy hauler)
  • Auto or Bicycle Repair
  • Handyman Services
  • Solar Power Installation
  • Pet Grooming
  • Beauty Salon
  • Window Washing
  • RV Washing
  • Arts, Crafts or Musical Instruments Shop
  • Massage Therapy
  • Psychic Services (palm-reading, tarot, etc.)

Those businesses have quite the demand, as long as you stay close to your target market. If you don’t seem accessible enough, then you can just move to another location. Without remote work, that wouldn’t have been possible.

On the employees’ end, remote work saves them money, particularly on transportation. If they’re from a city with heavy traffic, being able to work from home is a huge relief for them.

Remote Working Increases Productivity

Contrary to what some managers used to believe, working from home doesn’t dwindle productivity at all. It’s in fact the opposite. A Stanford study has found that remote workers are 13% more productive than office workers.

Productivity increases because employees are more in control of their environment when they work remotely. In the office, they cannot just move places if their surroundings are noisy. But at home, they can lock themselves in their room or home office, and be free of distractions.

Moreover, remote work reduces absenteeism. Remote employees are less likely to get sick because being at home allows them to heal quicker. And more importantly, they cannot pass on diseases. As a result, you can keep your team functioning without putting anyone at risk.

These amazing facts about remote work should push it to become the norm after the pandemic. After all, it’s not just beneficial for managers and employees, but for the environment as well. The fewer cars there are on the roads, the less pollution we’d deal with.

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