As the world looks to emerge from the pandemic-induced disruption, businesses everywhere are torn between the decision of going back to the old way of working or fully embracing the work-from-home culture. Painting a picture of the future of work, LogMeIn, a company that makes technology like GoToMeeting that allows businesses to work from anywhere, outlines the possible scenarios of a post-COVID world in its 2021 predictions. The company highlighted how the adoption of specific practices can help organizations create sustainable outcomes for both societal and business development.
In its predictions for the coming year, LogMeIn believes that even as businesses evaluate whether or not to fall back to the old ways, a recent Pew Research survey revealed how employees are already preparing for a permanent shift to remote working by relocating to places that are further away from their workplaces. It is expected that, by embracing remote working and eliminating daily commute, organizations can help their employees save hundreds of hours every year; this time can then be devoted to other fulfilling endeavors such as spending time with family, exercising, resting, or developing newer skills. Since remote working became a mandate, people have been able to find time to follow their passions and hobbies, such as painting, playing a musical instrument, working out, cooking, etc. According to a recent study, the demand for virtual classes for workouts such as Zumba
(72%), yoga (87%) aerobics (67%), and pilates (22%), etc. surged in India amid the lockdowns.
Therefore, the remote work framework is enabling Indians to better balance their work and personal responsibilities, thereby advancing towards a healthier and happier life. Besides better time management, remote working will accelerate innovation aimed at improving customer/employee workflow and collaboration, increase remote learning opportunities, reduce everyday work stress, and drive organizational productivity and profitability. The ‘work from home’ culture will also provide greater flexibility to recruiters while hiring new talent. As people’s physical availability and location become obsolete concepts, it will be possible to put together a more diverse and inclusive workforce from across geographies. In its wake, the concept of “workstation” has already gained considerable cultural currency, with people leaving for exotic locations to work from. This shift, according to LogMeIn, will gradually cause significant and permanent changes in the overall working, learning, and development of our society.
The shift to remote work will also reduce the demand for commercial infrastructure, which will have a monumental impact on how cities plan, prioritize, and invest in activities such as road maintenance and public transportation. As organizations continue to move on to a remote working model, there have also been several environmental benefits, such as the improvement in the air quality and a reduction in greenhouse emissions and waste production. For instance, following the lockdown-led restrictions, the position of New Delhi – which has consistently ranked among cities with poor air quality – improved in the air quality index (AQI) by a whopping 70%. LogMeIn predicts that, with remote work, global corporations could promote sustainability in a more measurable way and reduce their carbon footprint. Businesses can also go above and beyond to educate, train, and empower their employees about sustainable practices like switching to renewable energy alternatives – whether at home or in the office.
Implementing such long-term changes, however, will require governments to focus on allocating funds in areas that facilitate the remote work environment such as high-speed broadband and power grids. LogMeIn highlights that enabling such an infrastructure can unlock the full potential of the modern workforce and change the way humans live and work forever by popularising better, more intelligent technologies. According to the company, since the future of work is remote, businesses that fail to embrace this culture will put themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage. Remote working, as a long-term strategy, has the potential to provide greater business resilience to external disruptive forces, promote long term sustainability, and drive employee productivity and flexibility like never before.