Remote Work after the Pandemic 🌍
You would be hearing and reading a lot about the Coronavirus and what it is doing to the world right now. Airlines and travel industries are facing major heat, companies have been pushed to and are adapting to large-scale WFH, and much more. Sure there's a lot that the world economy will lose given the crisis but there's also a few good things that are to come out of this.
I am particularly interested (and I am sure you are too) to know the permanent impact the crisis will have on remote work. We all know that this, in a way, is a global-scale remote work experiment and is sure to leave a major footprint even after the pandemic. Today I want to talk about exactly what these permanent changes related to remote work will be.
This is not normal remote work
It is important for us to realise that while the current situation mimics some parts of working remotely, it actually isn't regular remote work. Not only because of the fact that it's a sudden move (and not a well-planned decision) but also because we are pretty much locked down in our houses. We rarely go outside (only for getting essentials) which is starkly opposite to your usual remote work routine, where you probably go for frequent walks or visit the nearby co-working space once or twice a week.
So the important point to keep in mind here is that not all inferences about remote work are accurate. The situation surely gives us a bunch of data points including whether such a move on a large scale is even possible but very specific nuances (example, Zoom burnout) aren't conclusive of anything in the longer term.
Permanent impact on remote work due to the pandemic
Increased adoption of technology
Individuals and industries worldwide have adopted technology on a massive scale and even gone virtual overnight. University of Sussex fast-forwarding a 5-year digital transformation plan and getting 22,000 people to work remotely in one week is just one of many examples. Remote work thrives on technology and tech tools, and this digital transformation is surely changing the world, for the better.
- Lesser resistance towards working remotely
With WFH being the only choice right now, managers who earlier resisted remote working are realising that they were mistaken. The shift to remote work amid the current crisis has proven to be an experiment for many to try out if and what works well.
- New channels for providing work-life balance
An implicit gain from the current WFH situation is that people are able to spend more time with their families. Additionally, it is also helping break boundaries between family and business, and infuse a human element. Examples include introducing your family, pets, interests to your co-workers and also showing your family what happens at work.
- Part of previously on-site workforce will move remote permanently
Now this isn't just prediction. Gartner actually surveyed 317 CFOs on March 30, 2020 and found that 75% of them are planning to shift at least 5% of their earlier on-site employees to permanently remote positions after COVID-19. Adding to that, 25% of the respondents said they will move at least 20% to fully remote positions!
- Companies becoming remote-ready and having an emergency remote-work plan
The shift to remote work was a knee-jerk reaction this time with very minimal time for organisations to plan the move. Previously, we shared the article by Slack's CEO on how quickly they had to make this transition and what events transpired. However, leaders wouldn't want to be in such a position again and would like to be remote-ready (always). Investors and CXOs would have a mandate to share an emergency remote-work plan, company-wide and for individual teams.
The Remote Working Show - Christophe Pasquier, Founder and CEO, Slite
Around the time that Slite announced an $11mn Series A funding round, we had a chat with its Founder & CEO, Christophe Pasquier. He talks through how Slite started modestly with a buggy alpha, to a more successful beta, to then be selected as a part of the Y-Combinator program.
Slite has evolved from an in-office setup to a hybrid one to now a fully-remote company. Chris appreciates the ability to hire the very best without any geographical restrictions. He does see problems in remote hiring though, especially concerning the inability to form uniform contracts with every employee in the team. He feels this is an important problem that needs to be solved in the remote market.
As always, here are our top-picks of remote-first products:
✔️ HelloRemotehelps remote companies find employees around the world
✔️ QuizBreaker is a fun weekly quiz to get to know your team better
✔️ Toasty.ai is a video conferencing platform for virtual meetings
✔️ ChatFox is a Slack bot for icebreakers, coffee chats, shoutouts & more
✔️ Dynamite Jobs is a curated remote-focused job board