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Remote Work Trends: The Past, The Present, and The Future

The world witnessed a drastic change in the remote work trends in 2020. Let’s unravel how exactly these trends differ from the past ones.

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The idea of remote work comes from the 1970s, it is now that ¾ of the world acknowledged its existence and importance. With several virtual positions opening up all around the globe, it is only in this very year that several individuals came across its practicality and benefits.

Working from Home – The New Normal

The beginning of 2020 saw a rapid decline in economic growth in most countries. But eventually, we saw the growth trend going slightly and gradually upwards as work resumed. Not in the workplace, of course, but from homes. To keep their country and house economy from falling apart, people began working from home.

Except for the medical staff, airport staff, defense forces, and other such professionals that we depend on, all of the industries witnessed a gradual shift to the online world. From stores to therapies and school, everything became operational and accessible from home.

And this felt like a major change. But what does that imply for the past? Was remote working an alien concept in the last decade? Let’s have a look.

The Past 

Technically, the increasing appreciation and adaptation to working from home is the only history repeating itself. Before the industrial revolution, people usually worked from home. Carpenters, weavers, blacksmiths, chefs, and everyone else set up their shops at their residence, offering services and goods manufactured by themselves.

Even at the selling junction of every town, the sale items mainly got manufactured at home. Hence, work from home was a common mode of work.

But after the introduction of the internet and lightning-fast development of devices (since the 1980s), this trend of telework eventually became extinct. Seeking high-paying jobs, people moved to cities and joined offices.

Just as fast tech moved people from homes to offices, it eventually became so portable and made the world so easily accessible that now, we see it bringing us back to homes. At least that’s what Global Workspace Analytics data suggests. It says that working from home has become an increasingly preferred option amongst the office staff. The increment in remote workers has been 73 percent since 2005.

The Present

As mentioned above, currently, the remote work industry is booming. Although the global lockdown forced many of us to explore this domain, several easy-to-use tools are also encouraging the masses.

Today, companies offer more remote positions than in-house. It reduces their office expenses such as that of the break-room and allows them to invest more in team-building and other things that matter.

Since remote working eliminates stressful commute and uncomfortable office environments, employees can cater to their physical and mental well-being. They can divide time wisely between family and career.

Plus, a case study conducted by Coso Cloud Company suggests that 77 percent of their employees working from home performed better than those working in-house. Even more, 30 percent of telecommuters accomplished more in lesser time. Another study reported 13.5% more calls by those operating from home than those working in the office. Overall, along with a major boost in productivity rate, remote work is also contributing significantly to the employee retention rate.

The current trend is also encouraging freelancing culture. About 33 percent of the remote workforce in the USA comprised freelancers back in 2019. By today, the figure has significantly escalated. We see many freelancing platforms like freelancer, Fiverr, Upwork, we work remotely, etc. offering countless virtual projects.

The Future

Perhaps, these rapidly increasing remote work trends are likely to accelerate in the coming years. The sudden global exposure to remote work benefits has altered the perspectives of many working adults, and they may stick to it for a long time.

 And why shouldn’t they? After all, remote work has given them the liberty to divide their time amongst work and family as per their desires. A majority of freelancers have switched the work pattern where they work at night and enjoy the daytime with family.

Plus, remote work is cutting off the monthly expense figures drastically. Now, there is no requirement to pay for office rents, daily commute costs, and even office stationery items. Virtual working has led to extensive resource conservation.

However, while these remote work trends will accelerate for secondary professions, the primary ones will continue to function traditionally. The primary sector relevant jobs, such as medicine and construction, cannot function through digital means. Throughout the pandemic, these professions either continued like before or were at a halt.

Nevertheless, the future is surely uncertain. Perhaps, we will soon see a large-scale adaptation, or maybe we won’t. Maybe history will repeat itself. And in-house work will one day resurface as a popular mode of work. But let’s hope that whatever happens, it’s for the best!

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