Remote Working Trends 2020
Over the last decade, remote working has gained more momentum than ever before.
In fact, some organizations operate completely remotely. Other organizations have a few remote team members, sometimes spanning many time zones, or they offer the option to all team members to work a day or two remotely per week.
It’s undeniable. With a steady increase in freelancers, the workplace has undergone some serious changes. Intuit estimates that by 2020, over 40% of U.S. workers will be independent contractors.
There have also been incredible advances in technology. Indeed, we can look forward to more advances and more changes in 2020. Here we outline just a few of the key remote working trends for 2020.
Enablement of Remote Working in 2020
The enablement of remote working will be a trend in 2020. As company cultures are becoming more holistic and want to implement flatter structures, remote working will be seen as a viable solution.
Indeed, it will also be the objective of a number of companies to enable regular workers to work outside of regular offices or office hours. However, it will be important to monitor the internal communications delivered to remote workers.
To enable successful remote working conditions, companies will need to provide clarity and alignment for their team members. Everyone will need to be working towards the same objectives and key results.
Moreover, managers will need to put an emphasis on value and recognition. A culture that values employee recognition is necessary successful remote work implementation. With remote working, it’s very easy to lose track of the impact of individual employees.
Finally, as part of the trend of enabling remote working in the new decade, companies will have to have clear plans and objectives concerning employees’ personal and professional goals. Despite being involved in remote work, team member need to feel as though they are learning and growing at a steady pace.
In a nutshell, when implementing remote working, companies should ensure that their people feel in control of their work and progression. Indeed, to increase overall engagement, growth, and productivity, a people-focused move to remote working might be the perfect solution for organization in 2020.
Remote Workers Are Feeling Lonelier
There are definite perks to remote work. Indeed, these perks include no daily commuting, no set working hours, and being able to work from home in sweatpants. On the one hand, this sounds great. However, in reality, remote work has a dark side.
In fact, an interesting statistic states that 20% of remote workers feel lonely. They miss the day-to-day interactions with their peers. It seems that remote work is even harder for people who do not have a partner in their lives, or live alone.
Unfortunately, prolonged feelings of loneliness can lead to mental health problems and issues like anxiety, depression, or burnout.
Remote Working in Cafés
Remote workers, who are feeling the brunt of loneliness, often seek refuge, and company, in cafes. Certainly, cafes are popular workplaces for digital nomads. Most urban centers have many incredible coffee shops to choose from. In addition, coffee shops are exceedingly affordable, when compared with shared workspaces.
Yet, remote workers or digital nomads are usually not a coffee shop owner’s favourite clienteles. It’s perhaps cliché, but these remote workers tend to take up space for an extended period of time in the shop without spending much money.
Still, café owners don’t want to turn any business away. Therefore, some have added power outlets but have set up WiFi that needs to be renewed every hour or so with a new purchase. Another solution implemented by certain shops is a “no laptop” policy during busier times.
Remote Workers and Cyber Security in 2020
If a company is allowing remote work, it’s important that employees be trustworthy and use secure connections. Many companies chose to set up secure servers. In addition, they provide their employees with cyber security training, so that team members, remote or not, can know how to deal with a potential cyber security threat.
Even More Software for Remote Workers in 2020
Remote working technology and software is likely to continue to develop in the coming years. Manager of remote teams want to find the best software to be share and communicate with their team.
Luckily, new remote working-friendly tools are hitting the market regularly. Tools like Slack, Teams or G Suite are ubiquitous. Furthermore, so many different integrations for these systems have been developed, and continue to be perfected.
Vacation Tracker is one of these integrations. It’s a simple and cost-effective tool to request and manage leave right within Slack, through a chatbot. Vacation Tracker is developing integrations for Teams and G Suite as well.
Thus, in 2020 and into the new decade, it is certain that companies will continue to provide more sophisticated software relevant to remote working conditions.
Remote Working and Chatbots in 2020
You’ve probably seen them around, or even used one on a customer service site, or on an app. In fact, industry experts predict a big increase in chatbot-based communication in 2020.
Using chatbots can be an incredibly useful for HR and for remote working.
Chatbots are automated conversational tools that can field or automate responses to simple request or questions. For instance, processes, such as leave management, could easily be automated through a chatbot.
For example, remote workers working from a different time zone cannot easily have a conversation about their paid time off with an HR person from their organization. Therefore, having a chatbot field their concerns or help them book a leave could be a very straightforward solution.
An Increase in Remote Working Professionals
These days, employers don’t only hire in their own cities. Since the start of the remote working trend, it’s not uncommon for organizations to find new hires in different cities. Therefore, the talent pool for professionals with digital skills, or other remote working skills is ever growing.
To stand-out from the crowd, aspiring remote workers, or remote workers who might be looking for a new challenge, need to pick a specialty of a niche.
Yet, remote working is a growing trend in part because digital skills continue to be in demand. In 2020, it will be important for remote workers to constantly update their knowledge and to grow more specialized in their field.
An Increase in the Role of AI in Remote Work
As in many other industries, HR has become more and more data-driven. With a stronger focus on analytics, it is data that is helping HR make decisions, rather than judgement or educated guesses.
Nevertheless, HR will always be people-focused. It’s especially important to not lose sight of that when addressing remote working concerns.
To provide the best possible experience for remote workers, AI can be applied. It is recommended that AI be used in a recruiting process, to assess whether employees have a good profile for taking on remote work, without experiencing some of its drawbacks.
Other HR areas where AI can be used to automate routine tasks are: onboarding, leave planning and holiday requests, interview scheduling, and analytics.
Keep in mind that every company is unique and requires different practices. Moreover, organizations must select the solutions that are within their budget, and respond to the needs of their employees.
Remote Working from Small Towns
Remote working means working from any location, as long as a strong Internet connection is available. Therefore, to save money, remote workers are migrating from larger cities to smaller towns.
In fact, some states in the US are even encouraging this migration, and are trying to develop more rural areas into virtual business hubs. With the price of real-estate keeping young people locked out of the buyer’s market, smaller rural towns are looking more and more appealing in 2020.
Last Words on Remote Working Trends for 2020
In short, remote working has undergone a major overhaul over the last decade. A survey by the Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs found that remote work has grown 91% over the last 10 years.
In 2020, the changes will keep coming. We see these changes in the small scale, as with coffee shops changing the way they enable virtual nomads to work from their coveted spaced.
But change is also evident in the fact that the remote workforce keeps growing at a steady rate. Finally, we see it in the world of software development, where a bunch of applications, SaaS and integrations are being put together to respond to the needs of remote teams.
On the downside, remote working requires being rigorous about cyber security. In addition, remote workers, or organization working with remote teams, will need to watch out for loneliness and properly enabling remote work.
While all this undoubtedly means that there are big challenges to overcome, the remote working trend isn’t going anywhere.