After coronavirus has changed the way things are run all over the world, many people are wondering what the future holds for remote working.
Working remotely is not a new idea, even though it appears to be for many people. A remote work report on Hubspot showed the number of employees who work from home at least once a week since 2010 (as far back as 2010) has increased by 400%.
But the figures have increased dramatically since the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown declaration. Now, people are eager to find out about the future of remote working – what will happen in 2021?
How Are Industries Adopting to the New Remote Working Norm?
Since March, when a lockdown on non-essential services was declared in many countries, companies resorted to asking their employees to work from home. Even the five most prominent tech companies also followed the directive.
Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Twitter closed down offices partially and asked most of their employees to start working from home. Apple completely shut down two major offices – one in China and the other in the US.
In an article about the future of remote work for big tech in the Washington Post, most of the tech giants gave their views about the new declaration for companies to start reopening and resuming normal operations.
Google and Facebook said in 2021, they would welcome staff back and reopen their offices to employees who have been working remotely. So, the remote workers ought to keep working from home until 2021.
Amazon said that employees working at its headquarters would keep working from home until October, which is the minimum period according to Amazon.
In the case of Microsoft, the company said it would allow some of its staff to return to offices while the rest may keep working from home till October this year. Microsoft President, Brad Smith, said it can help the economy with remote work more than being in a designated office.
Twitter, on the other hand, said its employees could go on working from home for as long as they want, but there will probably be options to also resume work in offices for employees who prefer that.
It is very likely that many other companies, including non-tech companies, will follow the trend of these five prominent tech companies. So, remote work is becoming more acceptable more than ever before.
What Is the Future of Remote Working in 2021?
It will require an out-of-this-world fortune teller to predict what working from home will look like in 2021 accurately, but from the current trends and behaviors of companies adopting remote working, there are some precise guesses we can make.
Below are some of the work-from-home trends that will be adopted by many remote workers:
1. Time Tracking Apps Will Become Common
Without being disciplined with work, remote employees may be less productive. There are plenty of distractions at home – kids, neighbors, family, and friends.
When working in a designated office, there are more than enough people keeping an eye on you, ensuring that you are doing the work that was delegated to you.
But when you are in the comfort of your own home, nobody supervises you, and it can become easy to get into bad habits and procrastinate.
To resolve this work-from-home issue in 2021, many companies will adopt the use of time tracking apps, such as Traqq. Good time trackers can help companies to keep tabs on what their employees are doing.
A good time tracking app can also log activities that employees are doing in real-time by using functions such as screen sharing. Time tracking apps also help employees to cut out distractions and focus on work while still enjoying the flexibility of working from home.
2. Companies Will Use Communication Tools Often
Communication is crucial to business growth. If you want your business to keep making progress while your employees are working remotely, you must ensure constant communication between you and your remote team.
Finding the right communication tool may have been a challenge some years back, but with IT and tech advancements, there are many communication tools that remote workers can use in 2021.
Some popular communication tools are Slack and Zoom. These tools have many features that make communication between remote teams seamless, fun (if the company doesn’t mind adding a touch of that), professional, and secure.
3. Most Meetings Will Be through Video Conferencing
Meetings are necessary for companies to be able to communicate their goals and objectives to their remote team. In 2021, there will be more online video meetings, and companies will need video conferencing apps that can support as many team members as possible.
Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet, amongst others, are video conferencing tools that allow many people to be present in an online meeting at the same time. Some of the video conferencing apps even support a live recording of meetings and also allow essential files to be shared while the meetings are going on.
4. Projects Will Be Managed Using Organisation Tools
Managing and organizing projects for remote workers is more complicated than organizing projects in the workplace. Therefore people will need to use project management tools to help businesses organize their projects properly.
In 2021, businesses will require organization and project management tools that can help them to specify tasks to different remote employees without having any mix-ups. Such tools will also help organize tasks so that every remote employee knows their role.
Organization and project management tools that can help companies boost their workers’ productivity include Asana, Trello, Favro, and Productboard. These solutions have simple interfaces, are easy to use, and in some cases provide free versions.
5. Privacy and Security Tools Will Become Common Place
When working from home, remote workers will need to utilize security tools to ensure their company’s and customers’ data is kept safe and secure.
1Password is a security tool that helps you save your passwords for websites you log in to and helps you to automatically log in to them the next time you want to. This solution can be shared across teams, perfect for those accessing files and websites from home.
6. Remote Workers Will Behave Like They Are at the Workplace
Many work-from-home productivity experts are already advising companies and remote workers about the right attitude to working from home. Advice for remote workers consists of:
- Do morning routines in the same way as if you were going to your designated office space
- Start working at the time you’d usually start work on an average day
- Write out a to-do list comprising the most important tasks that have been assigned for you to complete
- Take regular breaks to avoid burning out due to stress or tiredness
- Make sure you have a finish time in mind each day and try to stick to it.
Are You Prepared for Remote Working in 2021?
If you run a business, continuing down the path of remotely working can help you cut down on your company’s budget, allow you to realize more business goals in a shorter time, and unleash your employees’ creativity for more productive work. So if you haven’t already, it’s time to implement procedures to ensure your employees can work from home successfully, into 2021 and beyond.
What has your experience of remote working been like – and is it something your company is considering carrying on into 2021? Please share your thoughts in the comments below…
Finidi Lawson is a tech enthusiast and a Windows 10 expert. His passion for finding practical solutions for real-life tech problems has led him to a career as a content writer for Traqq.com. As a freelancer himself, Finidi uses his tech expertise to help remote workers discover the right tools that can make complicated tasks easier.
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