remote worker
Should your company go remote-first? Here are some remote work trends to help you decide whether to give up the office and go remote.

Remote work is now the biggest workplace trend of 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, quarantines and lockdowns, which have forced millions of employees to work from home.

As a result, in 2020 the way we work has officially changed. Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Twitter are making remote work a more permanent option for their employees.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which supports over 1,000 organisations globally, has also allowed 85% of its staff to work remotely, except in the case of employees who support critical functions of global clients.

In the months and years ahead, experts say remote work will only become more prevalent. Today, companies are scrambling to get onboard the remote work train and many believe that remote work will become the new normal.

According to Chris Herd, Founder & CEO of FirstBaseHQ, about 30% of the companies he’s spoken to are getting rid of the office entirely and going remote-first, for a number of reasons, including –

  • Saving on their commercial office space
  • Being able to hire more talented remote workers
  • Pollution reduction of 108 million tons of Co2 less every year
  • Improved quality of life due to less commuting

While the top reasons for being a freelancer or remote employee were being one’s own boss, having flexible working hours, and having a better balance between work and personal life, today being safe from contagion would also rate a mention.

The key to a successful remote work transition is to stop thinking about working from home as a temporary solution, and instead, start to shift your mindset to an entirely remote framework.

Remote Work And The Gig Economy

In the last 25 years, how we work has changed radically. The mobile phone has probably been responsible for making us all hyper-connected and that, in turn, has made talent boundary-less.

The world is now the marketplace for talent and Career 3.0 will be about the bulk of the workforce becoming gig workers and operating outside the payroll of an employer.

This workforce will come to the marketplace with multiple skills and offer it to multiple buyers and paid at different rates depending on the level of proficiency, allowing people to bring in and monetise all their skills, education and hobbies.

According to research from ReportLinker, the gig economy is becoming more and more attractive to traditional workers as most workers believe that freelancers are happier than traditional workers.

Another reason that remote work is becoming more and more attractive to both workers and companies is that the home office is considered to be the most productive workspace.

Although the productivity in companies has gone through the roof since going remote, their biggest concern is that remote workers burnout because they’re working too hard, says Chris Herd.

Another health issue that has reared its head is the repetitive stress injuries caused by the lack of ergonomic home office furniture in most remote workers’ homes.

Many remote workers and freelancers also worry about aspects such as the lack of financial security or job security and saving for one’s retirement.

Research by BBVA says that by 2030, individuals will cease to have permanent jobs and there will be an increased rise of freelancers.

India is the largest freelancer market, with 10 million people freelancing and there’s a growing tribe of professionals who are slowly moving from mainstream work and opting for freelance projects.

An Upwork study revealed that 73% of Gen Zers started freelancing by choice rather than out of necessity. Gen Z is foregoing traditional, corporate roles and freelancing by choice more than any other generation.

The gig economy is expected to cover 25-30% of the job market by 2022. Over a period of time, there will be more and more full-time gig professionals and organisations will also have 30-40% of their jobs assigned for them.

In India, content writing, translations, creative works, recruitment, sales, digital marketing, branding, SW development, architecture, BIM, accounting, data analytics, consulting, counselling are the typical gig jobs.

However, companies like MARS by SHEROES are also training their workforce of MARS Certified Remote Professionals (MCRP) in jobs such as inbound sales, lead generation and other backend tasks that can easily be done from home.

Being A Remote Worker In A Brave, New World

The gig economy has shaken up expectations about what being an employee or an independent contractor means. While the gig economy has many positive aspects and it also has negative aspects.

The relationship between employer and employee is going to change, particularly in the informal sector in countries like India, where 93% of all workers are in the informal sector.

In today’s modern work environment, workers have increased responsibility for their own formal and experiential learning, says the NASA blog. Careers are no longer linear or “owned” by a corporation, and learning needs are increasingly diversified and personalized.

In the future of work, we will have many different remote careers in our lifetime due to the rapid-shifting work landscape and the gig economy will become the standard for most people.

As remote work goes mainstream, more remote communication tools and technologies will become available and remote workers will be managed and monitored by AI-driven platforms.

MARS by SHEROES is one of the work from home companies that provides remote certification and assigns a project manager to manage the MARS Partners – remote employees who handle processes for some of the top organisations in India.

For most remote workers, the challenge now is to create a healthy remote work schedule with a daily self-care checklist to prevent burnout and exhaustion.