The COVID-19 pandemic brought remote work to the forefront, but no matter what happens with the pandemic moving forward, remote work opportunities are here to stay.
Several companies were equipped for remote work prior to the pandemic, and many more are now equipped for remote work because of the pandemic.
It may be easy to forget now, but even before the pandemic forced many employees to work from home starting in March 2020, the emergence of remote work was already becoming a major trend in the workplace.
Chris Herd, founder and CEO of Firstbase, a platform that helps companies with remote work experiences, wrote on LinkedIn that 123 million people could be working remotely by 2024/2025 and predicted 33 trends that would result from this increase in the remote workforce.
Some of these trends are already starting to come true, and some new companies have already committed to remote work moving forward.
Here are some additional reasons why remote work is here to stay.
Job Seekers Expect It
Like health insurance and retirement, remote work (whether it's full-time or occasional) is a benefit that job seekers are looking for when they're considering potential workplaces.
Work-from-home flexibility is especially popular for millennials (born 1981-1996) and Gen Z workers (born 1997-2010), who have more exposure to such flexibility.
It's not necessarily that job seekers are gung-ho about working at home. They just favor flexible work conditions that allow them to work remotely if the need arises.
There are many reasons why an employee may need to work from home or away from the office, including family commitments, cutting down on commute time, traveling for work, or to promote a better work-life balance.
Given that many job seekers have now been exposed to having such flexibility, it's possible that a company could lose out to rivals on attracting top talent by not having some sort of remote work flexibility.
It Opens Up A World Of Talent
Imagine finding the perfect candidate to fill an open position, but that candidate lives far away from the job and ultimately decides they don't want to relocate.
Relocation is often a major factor job seekers face when deciding for or against a new job, and many companies lose out on top talent because of it.
But, if you run a results-driven business where it doesn't matter where your employees work from, remote work can open up a wide realm of possibilities.
Suddenly, your talent pool is global and not limited by geography.
Like many remote work policies, this doesn't work for every business, but it can be a game changer for some businesses.
As businesses continue to evaluate the best way to attract top talent, it's likely that many will use remote work as a way to open up the talent pool.
It Can Be Cost Effective
Some businesses are so big that they need to have a headquarters and smaller offices in different locations. But for some, offering remote work options may be a way of eliminating overhead by cutting down on office space.
Some companies even operate with a 100% remote workforce, also known as "virtual companies" or "distributed companies." This potentially allows management to have no office space, or operate out of a really small office space.
The costs of running a business are an ongoing challenge faced by all business owners, so if remote work offers some potential long-term cost savings, it's likely more businesses will at least entertain the idea from time to time, even if they don't ultimately make the leap.
Remote work options open up a door of flexibility for everyone at a company from top to bottom. More importantly, the ability to conduct business remotely can come in handy during times when getting to the office is difficult, like we saw with COVID-19, or something like inclement weather.
In the past, businesses would have to shut down because of such emergency situations. But remote work allows businesses to stay in operation.
Beyond these extreme circumstances, every company can benefit from more flexibility. Companies are always looking for ways to improve their overall employee experience to retain and attract talent.
Offering remote work options is a way for companies to show employees that they trust them and care about their work-life balance. Speaking of work-life balance, managers face the same challenges as their employees with family or personal obligations, and can benefit just as much from the flexibility.
Everyone wins when there's more flexibility at work.
Are you looking for a remote work opportunity?
Check out Work It Daily's Incredible Companies page to see snapshots of companies hiring for remote work opportunities. Work It Daily also highlights remote work opportunities on a daily basis on TikTok.