Remote work has been on the rise even before the pandemic last year. Freelancing and the gig economy were already doing well. The flexibility in terms of location and working hours was the initial advantage that attracted the younger generation to go for this kind of work setup. Of course, it was also because of the technology that made working remotely possible. The pandemic only made its existence more pronounced and mandatory at the start of 2020.

The pandemic changed the structure of office work

This experience of working from home made office workers realize a lot of things. They noticed how more productive they are at home than when they were at the office. The positive effects of working at home may bring about the need for a “hybrid” working environment for office workers, where they will rotate the schedules of working in the office and working from anywhere.

Some smaller companies might even push for permanent remote work and completely forget the idea of having an office space. This decision will be based on whether remote work already has the capacity to provide their business needs without having to meet face-to-face. This will then increase their chances of improving their workforce by hiring global talents.

The pandemic changed the landscape of remote work

This unforeseen boom in remote work is seen as a challenge for existing remote companies. With most businesses now offering opportunities to work from anywhere in the world, the competition starts with the attraction and retention of global talents. Of course, this is done virtually and everyone is upping their game. There are worldwide options now and the challenge is to keep up with the trends.

The pandemic changed the future of jobs

The pandemic has changed the office environment and remote work. Homeowners now require a dedicated room in their houses for home office space. As for the jobseekers, the challenge lies in their ability to upskill and learn to work with technology on their own. Job applications have become more difficult. It is harder to infiltrate their target job vacancy because of the wider competition with candidates from all over the world.

One of the most valuable assets of remote work is culture. With time zone differences, language barriers, variety of beliefs, and country-based traditions, remote work teams should be able to create a culture that encourages unity and celebrates diversity. The challenge is to build a harmonious working environment and healthy engagement among a global workforce. Camaraderie plays a big part in achieving business objectives within a remote team. Take note that this is done virtually in a digital workspace.

Aside from the global competition in hiring, the rise of AI can also mean that some jobs might become obsolete in the near future. Previous job positions can be replaced by artificial intelligence and this will decrease the opportunities for the jobseeker. To keep up with the changes, this will then push employees to let go of irrelevant skills and learn new skills altogether.

Final thoughts

Remote work is here to stay, not just because of the pandemic. It’s well on its way to become the future of work and the pandemic was just an early declaration. What happened in 2020 strengthened and accelerated the boom. Companies and businesses learned the ways of working at home and realized that remote work is indeed something that can be done. The barrier between office environment and remote setup was broken. Global talents are now being recognized. Flexibility and collaboration through technology is widely accepted. It’s not just the working environment that needs to change, even the employees need to adapt to survive. And this is just the beginning of a bright future of work ahead of us.