Remote Work is the Future -- but What will that Future Look Like?

Since March 2020 the United Kingdom and majority of the world have found themselves forced into reduced human contact and work stoppages due to the Coronavirus lockdown. This crisis has caused changes in multiple ways, some visible and expected, but others will affect our populations and workplaces for a long time, perhaps permanently.

Learning Tree instructor, Robert Annis, is going to take us on an informational journey on different topics and how they connect with remote working, the future of working after the pandemic, and more in this blog series.

top down view of person conferencing on a laptop sitting on a table with various office supplies

Research published in The Sunday Times (5th April 2020) shows that after the coronavirus crises passes, 60% of people will want to work from home more than before. Assuming that attitude remains in the future this could have a staggering impact on businesses and the way they interact with their employees.

As a real-word example of this we need look no further than Silicon Valley, both Twitter and Facebook are moving towards a permanent work from home policy with Twitter promising any employees could work from home and Facebook saying 'it expects as much as half its staff to transition to working from home within the next five to 10 years'.

Whilst the tech companies are sometimes seen as a little 'ahead of the time', it would be a mistake not to consider that they do act as pioneers; bringing ideas into their organizations, testing and perfecting concepts in-house and then allowing these proven ways of working to leave their own organizations to spread across industry and geography. We used to laugh at some highly paid people with their pagers and massive mobile phones, but now we couldn't imagine life without our own mobile phones.

So, in the upcoming post-Coronavirus world, how will we run our companies? There are many questions in this arena of thinking as we will not be able to take much for granted - a lot of our previous thinking/ways of working won't prepare us very well for what's to come. Quite simply our pasts have little experience relevant to our future.

    • What policies should we put in place?
    • How will we manage companies, departments, teams and even, just people, differently?
    • What part does technology plan in this? How will organizations align towards goals when some people are not even present?
    • How will each of us need to change our ways of thinking, working and interacting with others in the future?
    • Critically, in this new way of working when we interact with others less and have fewer interactions, how will we interpret their thoughts and intentions correctly?

It is essential that we consider this because although we all wish the pandemic didn't occur, it has and we will have to deal with the consequences of that. We may wish to push our heads into the sand, but it won't be all that effective and you might get some odd looks from the neighbors.

So, in the next few articles, I intend to answer these questions in an attempt to give us all a way forwards. If nothing else, it will give us all something to talk about.
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