Location is key. According to a survey from Airbnb and Houzz, a staggering 1 in 5 people worked remotely during 2021. The coronavirus pandemic has brought about sweeping changes for the way we live, work and do work, and a remarkable 20% of us have decided that neither home nor the office has to be the place where we work. Airbnb reported their highest ever long-term stay statistics since the accommodation platform started, as people sought extended periods of time away from home during the pandemic. Lisbon and Dubai came in as number 1 and 2 on the most popular places for long-term stays on the application. People want to WFH away from home!
Beyond location, security has been at the forefront of remote work trends. As employers seek to up their security protocols as their staff operate away from the office, there is a need for heightened network security. VPN’s are just one layer to that, but also the software bundled on corporate laptops are another part of the story. With companies needing to ensure that unauthorized access and denial of service attacks are stopped, cybersecurity has emerged as a top trend for employers. With the threat of reputational damage and fines, companies have spent considerably more money on security and infrastructure. The cost of a cyberattack has jumped from $3.86m to $4.24m in just two years, according to the Ponemon Institute 2021 survey on cybersecurity.
Adapting HR processes are of primary importance. To adapt to WFH and hybrid work, companies and HR have needed to adjust their policies and practices. When 60% of staff have reported that they prefer hybrid work to the office, there’s a need for Human Resources to ensure they are doing what’s right for this sector of the workforce. Pay adjustments are high on the agenda. Is a remote employee entitled to the same salary as an office worker? How do we accommodate for the commuting costs? More importantly, for lifestyle reasons, how does a workforce stay productive and find a good work life balance when they’re working from home everyday?
Culture is king. This old phrase applies to any company, whether enterprise or a startup firm. Culture is often what makes a successful business vs a wholly unsuccessful one. Companies now have to consider how to promote culture and good work practice in the remote location, and what that entails. Staff often set aside time to run video meetings on Zoom, but more than just simple face time, transparency and outreach are of high importance. With responsibility comes great power. If a member of the remote work is not pulling their weight, transparency should make this obvious to all. On the other end of the spectrum, if a member of remote staff is performing particularly well, achievements should be recognized. We often see this in the form of gratitude channels on Slack, or simple small cash awards to staff who have been going above and beyond.
Cloud deployments will continue to accelerate. As the world of work moves away from the office, so will the concept of on-premise infrastructure. Cloud providers such as AWS, GCP, Azure and OCI all have seen exponential growth in recent times, as businesses shift from expensive on-premise to relatively cheaper cloud managed services. Applications and workloads in the cloud are just that much cheaper to scale and easier to run.
Productivity will be measured. One growing Google Trend this year is around productivity for remote work teams. As teams have to shift towards a new work model, asynchronous communication and learning is the ultimate goal to reach the top of Mount Productivity. IT and HR teams need to leverage data to understand what makes remote work organizations more successful and productive. Kicking out those meetings that are a time drain and with a lack of contributions from the full team will be key to making the remote work model work.
Keep an eye out on Careersaas for more on Remote Work and WFH trends as we move into the Winter of 2022.