The Future of Remote Work: What to Expect?

A woman having a videocall meeting with her employer

Remote work used to be an impossible dream that was reserved for business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. The pandemic made that reality possible for everyone since people had to remain at home to prevent the virus from spreading even more. 

As companies open back up, professionals must find new solutions and adaptive measures. It’s uncertain what the future holds for remote work since there are a lot of trends associated with it. Yet, we can analyze some of the most relevant ones that could affect the future of work.

Gig Work Intensified

Even though businesses are reopening, employees can’t help but feel burnt out, so this has caused a massive phenomenon called the great resignation. Wherein millions of U.S. workers are leaving their jobs due to dissatisfaction and fatigue. 

The increasing turnover rate was a huge problem for companies. They would need to either hire new employees or upskill their current ones to fill the gaps. That’s why gig workers have become a positive alternative for employers. They’re independent contractors or freelancers who are tasked to perform project-based duties. 

The company can then evaluate if they’re worth keeping and decide if they want to hire them as full-time employees. This process is called scalable hiring, it reduces costs and risks associated with recruitment.

Asynchronous Work

Different time zones are another challenge that employers face in a remote work setup. Since employees are not in the same office, city, or country, managers don’t have direct supervision and guidance for their teams. 

Their teams are only then monitored remotely through project management tools. This affects workers in two ways: they work asynchronously, and their performance is measured by outcomes and not by recorded time. 

Employees have more autonomy to decide when they do their work activities. This provides them with more freedom to spend time with their families or do other non-work-related tasks, which will result in work satisfaction and better performance. 

Professionals Moving to Different Locations

Professionals have opted to move to different places. According to a 2020 survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), 4.9 million US citizens left cities to move to suburban and rural areas. 

While professionals would rather move to low-cost cities with their current salary, there’s still a lot of uncertainty on their employer’s side. They don’t know if they’re willing to return to in-office work, go hybrid, or remain entirely remotely. That’s why it’s risky for them to decide to move far away. 

Stagnating Wages

Another key point of discussion during the great resignation was salaries. The economy is struggling with historical inflation rates, which means old wages can’t keep up with the rising cost of living. 

It has become almost imperative for companies to raise wages. However, some companies cannot afford salary increases. That’s why companies have relied on freelance professionals who clock in fewer working hours and have contractual rates.

Battle for Talent

In the future of remote work, we can expect better salaries and greater benefits. Companies have started to compete for talent during the great resignation since they need to mitigate their high turnover rates. This also means that they’ll need to provide benefits such as possibilities of career advancement, job training, and long-term working relationships.

Flexible Working Environment After the Pandemic

The pandemic left almost everyone feeling burnt out, so professionals expect a more flexible job approach in a post-pandemic world. Professionals have started to appreciate the work-life balance more due to the insecurity and stress that the pandemic brought.

In-Demand Skills in the Post-Pandemic World

According to research from Emsi, technology and computer science skills are leading the online job market. Skills like project management, software engineering, and customer service will experience huge growth in demand over the next couple of years. This was already a trend in the past but has experienced rapid growth over the pandemic.

Final Thoughts

The future of remote work is uncertain as companies are still debating which strategies would work best for their organizations. Some will implement salary increases, others will prioritize flexibility, and some would prefer to retrain their existing talent. 

It all depends on their preferences and objectives. These are some of the most relevant trends that we experience for the future of remote work. The demand for gig work will be higher as it becomes an alternative for companies to reduce costs and lessen risks.


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