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The COVID-19 pandemic forced much of the workforce to work remotely, but now that the pandemic is receding in several parts of the world, the question of if this workforce will continue to work remotely is up for debate. A report from Gartner suggests that things will move in the opposite direction from what you might expect. Let’s dive into what this report suggests and what it might mean for your business moving forward.
TechRepublic reports that, according to Gartner, 51% of knowledge workers are expected to work remotely by the end of 2021. This number is up from 27% in 2019, a considerable increase no matter how you look at it. Another notable figure includes the number of workers worldwide expected to be remote by the end of 2021—32%—up from 17% in 2019. It should be mentioned that these numbers are specific to knowledge workers, which are defined as those who hold knowledge-intensive occupations. TechRepublic cites some examples, which include writers, accountants, and engineers.
These trends have forced many employers to consider how they will accommodate remote work in the future, and it’s easy to see how it can benefit them, to an extent. They likely got a taste of what having a remote workforce would feel like during the social distancing phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now that workers are confident they can perform their jobs remotely, employers now must ask if it is beneficial for workers to return to the office, or continue to have them work remotely. In fact, this is evident in Gartner’s 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey, which cites that 70% of employees work at least part of their workweek out of the office.
Remote work does come with its fair share of challenges, chief among them being the procurement of tools and technology solutions that accommodate it. If you are going to have staff work remotely at least part of the time, if not all the time, then you need to make sure that you do your part to help them be successful while working remotely. This includes making sure that they have access to important files and documents, solutions that connect them to the workplace and your in-house workforce, and ensuring that they can access everything they need in a secure fashion.
Of course, having access to all of this also depends on having devices that are capable of working remotely. You will need to equip your employees with devices like laptops and smartphones that can accommodate remote work—and with the global chip shortage still in full swing, it’s no surprise that finding the right equipment might be a bit challenging at the moment. Still, we recommend that you consider all of these aspects of remote work for any of your employees who might be considering it at least part of the time.
As for how you can prepare your business for remote work, Preferred has you covered. We can equip your business with the tools necessary to get work done outside of the workplace. Technology is a major challenge for small businesses, so you need every advantage you can get. Don’t wait any longer! Get a hold of us at 708-781-7110 and ask today about how you can better prepare your office for remote work.