Good practices, innovation, technology, Trends, workplace innovation, COVID19, Teleworking

Will COVID-19 make teleworking more popular?

With the corona crisis, teleworking is becoming widespread. Such can help popularize the practice, in the long run.

Over the last months, COVID19 has spread throughout world. This led governments to adopt remarkable measures. For several workers, telecommuting is now the norm. Can this alter employees’ perceptions? Maybe. Several will experience benefits (read our article “The Benefits of Remote Working“), first-hand. Thus, COVID19 might popularize teleworking.

Note that telecommuting isn’t new. The habit has been rising, over the last years. Between 2005 and 2017, the US experienced an increase of 115%. By the latter year, homeworkers amounted to 3% of the workforce. In other words, about 3.9 million employees.

Despite the above, there’s still a big teleworking gap. It relates to how many employees could telecommute, and how many do. According to experts, many of the latter could already have made the “switch”. In 2005, a study noted that 40% of jobs could be performed remotely. Yet, in 2017, only 1 in 20 Europeans did so. Therefore, it seems the habit has a long road ahead.

As mentioned, several people already telecommute. Why? One big factor impels them. This regards daily commutes, to go and return from work. A lot of employees’ free time is wasted, during such. Also, they come with several costs associated. Take, for example, car maintenance or fuel. Of course, commutes also impact the environment negatively. Economies, as the latter, are touched too. For example, UE traffic congestion is estimated to cost €100 billion.

As said, COVID19 might popularize teleworking. Employees, as reviewed, seem to benefit. But what about employers? These could gain something, too. A study notes that half-time telecommuting could save managers US $11,000 per year. It did so by cutting office space costs, and energy bills.

It seems that COVID19 might popularize teleworking. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely that the trend will be sure. One obstacle might impact remote work: communication. Not having an office makes HR (and IT) work more difficult. How enterprises deal with this will determine their telecommute success.

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