Remote working: The countries shunning the post-COVID work trend and why

They don’t need to understand the specifics of a local labor market — how a college ranks, which employers signal particular ability, etc. — to find the right person for a job. At Upwork, a leading online labor market, the sales team saw some common stumbling blocks from potential clients. Discomfort with remote work was one of the most significant, as flexible talent is disproportionately remote. Resistance also comes from enterprise inertia or bureaucracy, concerns about IP or security risks, and a lack of familiarity with the tools and management practices that make open talent effective. As a result, companies sought talent primarily in their local labor markets or de-facto recruiting networks, and primarily for traditional hiring arrangements. Even so, surveys conducted independently by both authors indicate this is an accurate description of the remote work evolution for many firms. The forced experiment with remote work over the past two years has shown some organizations the upside of approaches to work they would never have otherwise considered.

Just 8% said they would have made new full-time hires, and 6% said the work simply wouldn’t have been done. If a team is fully-distributed, companies can see decreased overhead from money saved on costs like rent and office furniture. To put that learning into perspective, Flexjobs reported that employers can save $22,000 per remote worker per year, even if their entire team is not remote. Additionally, Slack is increasing its efforts to hire permanent remote workers across the world. Like Coinbase, Slack is expanding its talent pool—and its ability to find the right employees—by hiring from international markets.


In these days of continued uncertainty and with many people still working from home, asking to work remotely on a permanent basis is not as uncommon as it used to be. But how and when you go about asking can be the difference between yes and no, according to people on both sides of the table. Remote employees work an additional 1.4 more days per month than in-office employees, which is nearly 17 additional workdays a year.

companies going remote permanently

Switching to temporary remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic taught these top companies the perks of allowing their employees to work from home permanently. The largest professional services firm in the world told ABC News in October 2020 that they are considering shutting down four U.K. “COVID-19 has fast-tracked our future of work program, leading us to review our real estate portfolio and how we use our offices across the U.K., including London,” said Stephen Griggs, Deloitte U.K.’s managing partner.

Building a more diverse workforce

Upwork continues to operate two offices, but launched a remote-first approach in 2020. Employees can operate from home full-time, or use the offices in Chicago and San Francisco. “British Airways will let staff split their working lives between the head office and home in another example of big firms offering flexible employment.

  • JPMorgan recently required senior traders to return to the office, ending months of remote work.
  • Employers can now find the right applicant for any given position regardless of their location.
  • Butterfield said this should inspire developers to build “richer” types of collaboration tools.
  • Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company adopted a hybrid work model that allows employees to work from anywhere for 50% of their work week, with the option to go 100% remote with management approval.
  • Both of Jack Dorsey’s companies, Twitter and Square, announced a permanent remote work change last year.

Remote employees are more likely to put in extra effort intheir jobs, going above and beyond toget their work done in comparison to in-office employees. According to the State and Work Productivity Report, 65% of full-time employees believe that working remotely would increase productivity – and their bosses agree. Two-thirds of managers who were surveyed reported an increase in overall productivity from their remote employees. The most obvious reason for why people want to work remotely is because it offers them a more flexible lifestyle. When they aren’t required to be in an office during a set time frame, remote employees can focus on the things that matter to them outside of the office.

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Whether employers are ready or not remote working is here to stay at least for the next few years. Industries such as food, retail, and construction need workers working on-site daily. A survey conducted by Upwork of1,500 hiring managers foundthat due to COVID-19, 61.9% of the companies were planning more remote work now and in the companies going remote permanently following years to come. Accelerating the remote work trend that has been going on for the past few years. Global Workplace Analyticsestimates that employers can save over 11,000 dollars per year per employee. The savings are from the lower cost of office space, increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and less turnover.

  • Derek Laney, technology evangelist at Slack, has stated that it is “the greatest ever time to be an HR person,” and their tools are a big part of why.
  • “It’s been a huge success, and millions of people are using it every week,” Stewart Butterfield said during a CNBC event on Wednesday.
  • To determine the effectiveness of communication technology and working remotely, we’ll examine the history of working remotely, the current state of the workforce, and predictions for the future of remote employment.
  • A2021 study by Microsoft Corp. found remote work caused its formal business groups and informal communities to become less interconnected and more siloed.
  • “Nationwide plans to shrink from 20 physical offices pre-crisis, to just four,” Lee Clifford wrote in a Fortune interview with Nationwide CEO, Kirt Walker.

This way, she said, remote team members are aware of expectations, and their performance can be monitored. Office workers are unproductive for an average of 37 minutes a day, not including lunch or breaks, whereas remote employees are unproductive for only 27 minutes. In summary, most employees working hybrid want to continue working hybrid (70%). About half of exclusively remote workers (49%) and 37% of those on-site in a job that could be done remotely would prefer hybrid. — Forty-five percent of full-time U.S. employees worked from home either all (25%) or part of the time (20%) in Gallup’s September update of its monthly employment trends.

The pros and cons of a fully remote or hybrid company

“Even optimistic estimates did not match the speed at which remote jobs grew in Q1,” the report said. “The outlook for remote jobs in 2022 and beyond is positive and may exceed expectations.” The number of remote workers in the country this year remains difficult to estimate, as few figures were communicated to the International Labor Organization by government institutions. Mentorship and dialogue are two core values of the Japanese work system, with senior employees supervising younger peers and informal conversations at the coffee machine reinforcing the contact within teams – something that just did not work in a remote setting.

  • Other companies going remote in the insurance industry are following Nationwide’s model.
  • To facilitate collaboration as necessary, the company is converting their office spaces into “Dropbox Studios.” In addition, they are implementing a concept called “non-linear workdays” to allow employees to set their own schedules.
  • In fact, they’ve got a dedicated Slack channel for employees to swap places worldwide so that they can work and see new places around the globe.
  • Although remote working is becoming commonplace in most Western European countries, the flexible method has not been fully accepted among Czechs, especially by employers, despite the country being just as technologically equipped as its peers.
  • Finally, there are integration costs of incorporating work from an open talent solution into the larger organization.
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