The COVID-19 pandemic has had many huge impacts on our social interactions, physical and mental health, and human life. Despite the damages it’s done, it has also provided the whole world with a unique opportunity to reconsider working conditions in a different light. Remote working has turned into the day-to-day practice for many professions, especially those related to IT. As a result, many — business owners, also among them — have started festering doubts about the necessity of physical presence in the workplace. Today, we witness a vast majority already beginning to adapt to standoff against the brutal impacts of the COVID-19 by working from their homes.
Despite all the difficulties, most have succeeded in doing so, forming a new wave. By doing so, they’ve turned remote-working into a rather serious medium that will most probably be practiced even after the crisis ends. The following is a list of 5 remote work trends for 2020 that may continue to exist for a long time afterward, or maybe even forever.
1. IT and Security Teams
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employees to work from home, dissolving the workspace at companies. This puts a lot of pressure on the members of IT and security teams as they do not have direct access to all computers anymore. Instead, they have two options; one is to ask their colleagues to describe the numerous problems they may encounter in their systems, and the other is using apps such as AnyDesk, which mirrors that particular employee’s system. Both these methods have their own setbacks, however. A vast portion isn’t able to describe a problem as it should be, nor is willing to let somebody else enter their systems’ privacy.
Unfortunately, the difficulties IT and security teams face are not limited to the ones explained above. As employees connect their systems to the companies’ central computers, maintaining security becomes more and more problematic. In the wrong hands, these systems can be used as easy-to-access gateways to the primary systems of companies, which puts classified information at risk. Thus, the security team must update itself to the most recent methods and tools to prevent such breaches. This is a very demanding task, as many threats are still somewhat new and unknown. Therefore, concerned teams must spend a considerable amount of time searching, studying, testing, finding potential risks, and coming up with a solution.
2. HR Department
The second remote work trend to consider here is the tasks of the human resources department. We can all agree that HR teams are an indisposable part of the wheel. They recruit the best-fit candidates, inform everyone of the latest changes (such as newly established policies), check employees’ working hours, days off, clock-ins/outs, payroll, etc. In fact, when it comes to the various tasks required of a full-fledged HR team, the list is almost endless, and this is exactly why they are placed second on this list.
As employees are no more required to be physically present in the workplace, HR teams face many difficulties. An HR team’s simplest task is to keep track of the exact times when employees clock in and out. However, lack of proper equipment has even turned this straightforward task into a tedious HR team burden. Currently, HR team members have to cling to other methods to carry out this rather simple task. One of their other problems is related to the process of hiring new staff. Under the present circumstances, most people are not willing to leave the security of their homes and go to an unknown place for a job interview. As a result, HR team members have to deal with all the unprecedented issues of holding online interviews. These include making the software arrangements to be used, finding new methods to evaluate the candidate’s personality via an online meeting, etc.
3. Communication Tools
The COVID-19 and the necessity of remote work have also led to a new trend in communications. Companies need to use the safest and fastest tools to ensure the best quality communication possible with the least security moles (gaps). Consequently, we witness growing popularity in using apps such as Telegram, WhatsApp, and Skype that were mostly the bread-and-butter for casual texting in the past. However, as more and more companies rely on online sessions, apps with the best video conference feature become widely favored. As the apps mentioned above have not really proved themselves to be the most efficient, searching for other options is still continuing.
However, a brief search on the Internet shows us many other apps to choose from. These include several slightly lesser-known names that have become highly popular in the last few months, obviously due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first of these to be considered here is Zoom. The free version of the app lets its users host video calls with up to 100 people for 40 minutes, which is more than enough for most purposes. The second one is Google Meet, which is another service provided by Google. The best thing about this app is its complete integrity with all other services offered by Google; you can join a call by simply clicking on a Gmail link, add files from your Google Drive without interrupting the call, etc.
4. Moving Away from Metropolitan Cities
It is no longer required of most people, especially tech workers, to go to a specific workplace. As a result, many people have left their homes in the major metropolises and migrated to less populated areas, even countries. According to surveys conducted, most tech workers. As studies indicate, two out of three prefer to leave their big-city lives in places like New York and drawback into a more peaceful lifestyle.
This life-altering choice can be called beneficial to both employees and employers alike. Employees are free to choose where they want to live and are likely to pay lower rents. On the other hand, employers can cut down on their costs as it is no longer necessary to provide working space for all their staff. Moreover, this can have many positive effects on the environment, as with the reduction of the population in larger cities, the pollution will also decrease since a considerable percentage of transportation services will not be needed anymore.
5. Flexible Work Hours
Not only has the pandemic caused troubles for adults, but it has also changed the lives of any age, namely children and the elderly; the kindergartens have close downed, and the elderly are too vulnerable to spend a lot of time outside the safety of their homes. As a result, it is the adults, most of whom comprise the society’s workforce, who must entertain and take care of them. However, most companies’ working hours are set during the daytime, when children and the elderly need attention. Thus, it is rather difficult, if not impossible, for working people to spend a lot of time on them. As a consequence, the workforce demands flexible working hours in a stride to maintain a balance between work and personal life. Moreover, flexible working hours can add a little variety to the lives of the workers who live alone and do not find their lives as colorful as when they went to work every day and spent time with their colleagues and friends.
In conclusion, COVID-19 pandemic has considerably changed the landscape of our professional lives. The concerns of the pre-pandemic seem to have long vanished while new priorities have taken their place.