The future of remote work, according to 6 experts.

Introduction

Remote work is a hot topic right now. Companies recognize that they can save money by allowing employees to work from home or another location. As a result, workers are looking for ways to manage their workloads without sacrificing their personal lives. We spoke with six experts about where this trend is headed and how it might change in the years ahead:

We may see more employee-centred benefits.

In the future of work, we may see more employee-centred benefits. For example, we see this in some companies offering employees the option to work from home or another remote location.

Some of the biggest benefits for employees are:

  • The freedom to work when and where they want (within reason).
  • The ability to spend time with their families while still working full time.
  • Lower costs associated with office space and equipment and decreased commute times for employees who choose this option.

Some of society’s biggest wins include Less traffic congestion on our roads and highways, less pollution in our air, fewer carbon emissions contributing to climate change, and lower gasoline prices – all resulting from fewer people driving into cities every day!

Remote work will require better communication and collaboration tools.

Remote work must include the right tools for communication and collaboration. Communication is key to building trust and effective relationships, which are vital to a successful remote team dynamic.

In an article for Harvard Business Review, Julie Bajcsy, director of product management at Confluence Careers Networking Platform, noted that she was initially sceptical about how her team would collaborate without face-to-face contact in the office. But after using video chatting software like Zoom and Google Hangouts during meetings over video calls with customers, she saw many benefits: “We noticed how much more engaged the customer was when they could see our faces while talking,” Bajcsy wrote. 

Companies might rely more on automation.

You may have already noticed that many companies already use automation to reduce costs. This could continue to be a trend, and it could mean that fewer remote workers will be needed in the future. In addition, automation can be used to replace workers, so automation may reduce the need for remote work even further than it already has.

Diversity and inclusion will be huge parts of remote work.

Diversity and inclusion will be huge parts of remote work.

Some things that may surprise you about remote work: it’s more inclusive than office work, more diverse than office work (more women and people of colour), more accessible than office work (no need for a car), and more flexible than office work (you can do your job from anywhere).

There will be a stronger emphasis on health and wellness.

There will be a stronger emphasis on health and wellness. Moving away from the notion that work is something you put your nose to until it’s done, remote workers will now focus on how to keep themselves healthy so they can continue working efficiently.

“Health and wellness are critical,” said Ravipati. “You have to make sure your mind is in a good place.”

Remote workers need to be able to focus without distractions, manage their time wisely, and stay on top of stress management techniques (which include taking breaks). They’ll also need strong relationships with other remote workers to collaborate effectively—and these relationships will be even more important as we move toward an increasingly digital environment outside work.

There will be more emphasis on balance between fun and serious activities.

There will be an emphasis on work-life balance.

In the future, remote workers may have more flexible schedules and locations. As co-founder of the Remote Leadership Summit, a conference that brings together leaders who work remotely for their companies, Michael Leiter already sees this happening: “We’re seeing people having the freedom to live where they want and work wherever they want.”

If you can’t make it into the office because your kid is sick or you have a doctor’s appointment, many companies are starting to embrace telecommuting as an option. However, some still have concerns about how employees will handle this kind of flexibility.

Remote work will likely look different in the future, but it won’t go away.

As the remote work trend continues to grow, we expect it to look different than it does today. Remote workers will become more common, flexible and accessible for a wider range of businesses. But despite these changes, many experts agree that remote work isn’t going away anytime soon:

  • “I think it’s here to stay,” said Gartner Inc.’s Michael Herley. 
  • “Remote work is inevitably going to become more common,” added Timothy Jacoby of Cornerstone OnDemand Inc., an enterprise software company based in Los Angeles.

Conclusion

In short, remote work isn’t going anywhere. But it will change as companies experiment with new working methods and discover what works best for teams. So the future of remote work may look different than what we’re used to today, but it will still be very much alive in 2020—and beyond!

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