It's not news that some companies used to offer the possibility to work from home as a perk, but it has now become the norm for most businesses. While 2020 may be considered the year of remote work and outsourcing strategies, we see the trend continuing in 2021.
According to Forbes, 50 percent of the work market in the U.S. will soon be remote, and chances are 35% of workers of that percentage will be outsourced to an employer in a nearshore country. Europe’s remote workers have grown from 7.7 percent to 9.8 percent in the last decade.
Working remotely doesn’t invariably imply ‘from home’, either; it can apply whenever a worker is off-site, whether that’s at a coffee shop, a flexible workspace, or from another country.
Outsourcing is predicted to be the preferred customer strategy in the post-COVID-19 world. Uncertain of the future, companies will opt for flexible business relationships and skilled outsourced workers, rather than spending time and effort on building complex in-house teams.
The importance of the Timezone
At this point, anyone in the IT industry is very familiar with the dance of the time zone overlap. Making the most of your synced-up work hours requires finding a fluid communication routine, and perfectly-crafted asynchronous feedback.
There are some tech solutions to these problems that make things better, but it will never be the ideal scenario of perfectly aligned work hours and instant communication.
Working in the same or a similar timezone will always and forever be easier. Unless you’re outsourcing only within your line of longitude, you’re adding complexity to communication that doesn't need to be there.
Why take that risk when you can hire someone in your same timezone?
Numbers prove it: remote work is efficient for everyone
Some of the bigger, most powerful companies in the IT industry conducted their own survey last year, asking clients how their customers are working differently, and how their behavior is being changed.
Here are some of the top responses:
- Small, medium and big companies that were looking for office space pre-COVID-19 are now reducing their original needs by up to 69 percent.
- 73% of IT companies switched 59% of their projects to an outsourced team, avoiding an expensive and long search for the right skill-set professionals
- There's far less global travel, especially for sales teams, and more virtual meetings.
- The geographic scope for employment searches is now being expanded to include candidates anywhere, especially for positions in fields like accounting, HR, customer service, and inside sales.
Business Advantages of Remote Working Teams
The ability for employers to trust their teams when they work out of the office could be key to achieve more productivity than ever before. Data shows that when employees can skip the coffee breaks and a long commute, productivity reigns supreme.
Stanford University made a two-year remote work productivity study, where the researchers followed 500 employees after dividing them into ‘remote’ and ‘traditional’ working groups. The remote working group results not only showed work productivity boost equal to a full day’s work but also fewer sick days and a 50 percent decrease in employee attrition.
With fewer people in the office, companies can constrict their property footprint, allowing for more efficient workspace practice. That same Stanford study of remote workers allowed the participating company to save nearly US $2,000 per employee on its office space rent, simply by using the space more efficiently.
Regardless of the product, mission, or goals, it’s the team that drives business success. The ability to draw and retain top talent is a key differentiator in today’s competitive business world.
Remote work can play a decisive role in this arena, offering personal recognition between employer and employee. Companies that offer a flexible working agreement, such as full, half, or partial remote work, could make the difference for a candidate selecting their next career move.
Remote work is here to stay
Remote work time has finally come. The technological capacity has existed for many years for desk-based jobs to be performed from anywhere, yet companies were often hesitant about allowing employees out of their sight. COVID-19 overcame that barrier for many businesses.
And the experience has proven positive for workers and employers alike.
Many professionals report being more productive at home, so post-pandemic remote work plans offer the potential to raise productivity by as much as 2.4 percent.
The normalization of remote work offers the prospect of lower costs and increased productivity. Those are attractive sights at any time, and even more so as people struggle to recover from pandemic-and lockdown-caused economic problems.
The researchers looking at the growth of remote work suggest that some of the results will be 'hybrid' arrangements. But reduced commercial real estate commitments, improved efficiency, and happier workers telecommuting from where they please are expected to have a big enough impact to change the nature of many cities.
The population already appears to be shifting in response to increased acceptance of remote work. Big cities are losing people to smaller ones, suburbs, and exurbs as many professionals follow their preferences to less dense, lower-cost communities.
For those who benefit from the increased acceptance of remote work and outsourcing, life should become a bit easier. People will enjoy increased opportunities to live where they want while working jobs that appeal to them. Couples won't have to prioritize one partner's employment over another's. Able to do our jobs from where we please, life for many of us will, happily, reflect a bit more of what we want for our professional future.
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