Before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 17 percent of U.S. employees worked from home 5 days or more per week, a share that increased to 44 percent during the pandemic. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the remote working trend, as quarantines and lockdowns made commuting and working in an office close to impossible for millions around the world. Remote work, also called telework or working from home (WFH), provided a solution, with employees performing their roles away from the office supported by specialized technology, eliminating the commute to an office to remain connected with colleagues and clients. What enables working from home?
To enable remote work, employees rely on a remote work arrangements that enable hybrid work and make it safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology supporting remote work including laptops saw a surge in demand, video conferencing companies such as Zoom jumped in value, and employers had to consider new communication techniques and resources. Is remote work the future of work?
The response to COVID-19 has demonstrated that hybrid work models are not necessarily an impediment to productivity. For this reason, there is a general consensus that different remote work models will persist post-COVID-19. Many employers see benefits to flexible working arrangements, including positive results on employee wellness surveys, and potentially reducing office space. Many employees also plan on working from home more often, with 25 percent of respondents to a recent survey expecting remote work as a benefit of employment. As a result, it is of utmost importance to acknowledge any issues that may arise in this context to empower a hybrid workforce and ensure a smooth transition to more flexible work models.