The pandemic has taught us all one lesson: it is possible to work from home. Remote work, the work arrangement in which employees do not commute to a central place of work has begun since the 1970s. It provides a system by which workers can work with the aid of mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones to work from coffee shops, cyber cafes or even their houses. A survey conducted by Coso Cloud on remote employees revealed that a whooping 77 percent of remote workers reported improved productivity when working from home. A Flex Jobs survey of 5,500 professionals revealed that 76 percent of staff think that there are fewer distractions outside offices. This goes to show that remote work is best for productivity in any organisation.
The concept of remote work has been practised since the days of the hunter-gatherer humans who had no clear distinction between work and home. This way of life continues years after and in Britain, commoners lived in work homes. A work home consisted of a workplace like a bakery or shop close to the workers house. The industrial revolution resulted in a change: people went to work at factories and firms which offered definite pay and strict work hours. In the 1970s, remote work was more accepted and the American government set up a remote working program for Americans. Unfortunately the idea was accepted only by a few workers and it never became mainstream. However since 2009, remote work has been embraced by many employers and has increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many workers have been laid off since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the International Labour Organisation(ILO), more than one in six young people have been unemployed since the pandemic begun. Also, workers have seen their working hours decline by 10.7 percent relative to the last quarter of 2019, which is equivalent to 305 million full time jobs. This increase in unemployment has resulted in more competition on freelance websites such as Upwork, Guru, Fiverr, Freelancer amongst many others. The social distancing policy adopted by many organisations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has made many workers to leave their offices and work from home. It is a possibility that in the future, many jobs will be remote because most employers have realised in this pandemic that many jobs can be done from home.
Despite the advantages of remote work, not all jobs can be done from home. Jobs in healthcare, construction, building, hairstyling, security, food delivery and other sectors need physical presence at a workplace. It is impossible for workers in such industries to work from home. However jobs in technology, content creation, education, art, literature, education and data analysis can easily be done from home. This shows that although remote work will be mainstream in future, not all jobs can be done from home. There will be definitely options for staff to choose between working in offices and working from their homes.
Remote work is the new future: remote workers take up less office space, have less sick days and are generally more productive. According to a research study conducted by Flex Jobs and Global Workplace Analytics, the average annual salary of most remote workers is $ 4000 USD higher than that of regular workers. Remote workers are reportedly happier, more healthy and less stressed than workers that have to commute to work. The remote work system reduces the cost of office space for employers and encourages independence in employees. Although not all jobs can be done remotely, we should all anticipate a change in employment: most jobs in the future will be remote.