Remote work arrangements are arguably the most revolutionary change to have come out of the pandemic. Working from home didn’t spring up out of COVID-19, of course, but past generations lacked the technology solutions and network security to make it practical and, in many cases, the corporate buy-in that made the concept widely acceptable.
In the past year, solutions such as OfficeSuite UC and Microsoft Teams have become as common as email. And now, as vaccines continue to gain momentum and society begins to open up from Main Street restaurants to professional sports stadiums, it begs the question: What happens to working from home?
There’s plenty of evidence that the remote work genie has been let out of the bottle for good. In December, Fortune.com reported the results of a three-month Future Forum by Slack survey of 9,000 skilled office workers worldwide. It found a third of WFH employees preferred to never or rarely have to work from the office again. This compares to just four in 10 who would always or regularly work from home while the remaining roughly 30 percent could go either way.
About half of the respondents also said they expected their employers to expand remote work opportunities, post pandemic. And even more intriguing, just over 40 percent of hiring managers said they'd likely consider a remote candidate for a position on their team.
According to smallbizgenius.net, such work arrangements were already under considerable steam before 2020 as many business sectors found it a way to attract and retain the best talent.
The site compiled statistics from a number of sources that showed the prevalence of remote work outside of covid-19 was much larger than most people think. Since 2005, remote workers have increased 140 percent, roughly 10 times faster than other areas of the workforce. Telecommuting has increased 115 percent over the past decade, again at a rate ten times faster than other work areas.
Most impactful of all, 52 percent of workers worldwide spent at least one day a week working remotely and by 2028, 78 percent of all departments will have a remote worker, a third of whom will exclusively work from home.
Given that the workforce changes accelerated by pandemic are here to stay, it makes sense for all businesses to evaluate their solutions and security to be sure they're prepared to attract and retain the best talent.