Global pandemic or no, remote work is here to stay.
If you’ve been following our blog or availing of our services for quite some time now, you’re well aware of the benefits of remote work. And now, the rest of the world has pretty much caught on. 2020 forced many companies the world over to digitise their operations. A good percentage of the shareholders won’t be going back to the status quo anytime soon.
Need more proof? Let’s take a look at the facts.
Population and Productivity in Numbers: A Forecast
The US-based Enterprise Technology Research (ETR) recently surveyed around 1,200 chief information officers worldwide. This survey, which involved CIO’s in different industries, sought to probe company productivity after months of a WFH set-up.
Participating CIO’s thus revealed that 72% of their companies’ workforce was currently working from home. Furthermore, 48.6% reported that productivity improved since workers began working remotely. Only 28.7% of respondents indicated a decline in productivity.
Industry-wise, the telecommunications, financials, and the insurance sector reported the largest productivity boosts. In contrast, the energy, utilities, and education sectors reported little, if any, of the same.
“The productivity metric is proving that remote work is working,” Erik Bradley, chief engagement strategist at ETR, told Reuters in an interview. “So we all thought that there would be some increase in permanent remote work, but we didn’t expect that to double from pre-pandemic levels. There would be huge ramifications of this in a lot of areas, whether that is real estate, retail, restaurant or transportation.”
As a result, the informed decision makers predict that permanent remote workers will comprise 34.4% of their companies’ workforce this year. This is more than double the 16.4% forecast before the coronavirus outbreak.
What Does This Mean For SME Entrepreneurs Like You?
Clearly, there are risks and opportunities here.
First, the industry you’re in could determine how much you stand to gain or lose from the remote working trend. If your company’s operations are compatible with a WFH set-up, that’s all well and good. Otherwise, you need to consider how you can make your in-office roles more attractive to talents who would prefer a remote working environment. Or you can also come up with better ways to seek out people who actually prefer to work in an office. (Yes, they still exist.)
Secondly, there’s an opportunity to streamline your operating costs. If a good chunk of your workforce works from home, there’s no need to lease big office spaces. Ditto for the accompanying utility expenses.
However, the flipside is that the future of the commercial real estate market remains uncertain. The WFH trend could translate to an uptick of office vacancies. This, in turn, can result in potential rent decline. If you lease out office space, now might be a good time to brainstorm alternative uses for your property.
Lastly, another possible consequence is that there could be a shortage of digital workers Down Under by 2025. According to Amazon’s research, Australia will need 6.5 million MORE digital workers by that time.
Given how these same digital workers will also need to upskill or reskill prior, the local workforce is unlikely to be sufficient. This is where outsourcing can help. Thanks to the internet, geographical boundaries are no longer a hurdle when it comes to finding the best talent out there.
Remote Staff has been assisting various AU entrepreneurs in doing exactly that for the past decade. Even before the covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been able to develop and fine-tune a system for matching our clients with top Filipino remote talent for their specific needs.
We and our clients are very much prepared for the remote working population boom and all that it entails. Are you?