Remote working is becoming an increasingly sought after career, with movies such as Avatar showing us extreme examples of ‘pure remote work’, where people operate machines and artificial organisms as ‘proxies’ located miles away from them using their unique skills. While this may seem possible only in a distant future, there are 5 remote work trends that will make an astounding difference in 2020.
How do we know this change is coming? In 2019, we heard about surgeons successfully performing animal surgeries via 5G connections, and construction specialists controlling excavators digging a hole on another continent. Besides being a pure technical marvel, this clearly demonstrates that changes in remote work are speeding up at an unprecedented pace. We have to be ready for what is to come.
- Mixed Remote Workforce and Changing Legislations
Remote working arrangements remove most of the employment barriers faced by experienced workers when searching for a new job on a local level. This also means that the current workforce in this sphere is highly mixed. It includes young Gen Z specialists, millennial workers moving away from ‘normal’ employment schemes, as well as traditional remote workers such as stay-at-home moms interested in using some of their spare time for to earn.
This diversity may be extremely difficult to manage in the light of the changing legislative provisions in different countries. Many of the new laws protect the rights of certain workforce segments and do not take into account the needs of other ones. Especially in the case of freelancers working across borders. The lack of harmonization in this sphere may lead to substantial problems in the nearest future.
- Blockchain- and Cloud-Based Cybersecurity Systems
Remote work is associated with multiple threats as well as opportunities. A stolen executive laptop or account password can easily become a shortcut for hacker, allowing them to steal corporate secrets and know-how.
Traditional offices usually have strong security policies prohibiting the use of personal devices and using fingerprint and facial recognition to prevent unauthorized access. Remote employees rarely maintain the same protection standards and may even leave their devices unsupervised for long periods of time.
This implies the need for companies to integrate stronger passive cybersecurity solutions, limiting access to critical data from public Wi-Fi spots, storing all information on corporate cloud servers, and requiring the use of activity trackers and facial or fingerprint identification tools.
- Distributed 24/7 Teams
The management of distributed teams from multiple time-zones may be substantially more challenging than working with a number of office staff members knowing each other personally. This challenge may be more serious considering the increasing relevance of 24/7 operations realized by outsourcing some in-house operations to remote personnel.
In this scenario, main office managers coming to work at 9 a.m. can get the results provided by their overseas colleagues, which boosts company productivity twofold. Potential gains substantiate the need for more effective micro-management and team-building. This can stimulate greater trust and cooperation between all company staff and avoid agency problems and low levels of ‘organizational citizenship’.
- Flexible Working Hours and Vacations Management
The lifestyle of ‘digital nomads’ is radically different from that of traditional flexible workers. As opposed to working mothers and people seeking to reduce their daily commuting time, they are not limited by a single town or even country. With most hotels in any part of the world presently offering decent Wi-Fi connectivity, there is no need to remain loyal to strict working hours and holiday schedules.
Many remote workers actually view their recruitment as a permanent vacation where periods of hard work are alternated with mini-retreats whenever necessary. This approach is especially compatible with large and long-term projects where the workloads can be flexibly distributed between the key milestones occurring every several months.
- Educational Challenges
Many companies rely on high levels of specialization in their business processes. Virtual reality (VR) learning capabilities may allow trainers to ‘show’ some of these aspects to their trainees in order to better prepare them for work-related tasks. This may also be beneficial for organizing ‘live’ meetings in virtual environments to make teleconferencing more convenient (and more similar to old sci-fi movies at the same time).
The key meta-trend in remote working arrangements is their transformation in a network-based environment rather than a direct agreement between individual employees and employers. In the offline world, recruiters are highly interested in past employment records, letters of recommendation, and other confirmations of candidate expertise.
Such modern platforms as Upwork or LinkedIn have replaced this function by allowing HR specialists to see prior work orders performed by different specialists, their rates, and their ‘digital history’. The growing globalization suggests that the technologies presently utilized by IT companies will also be adopted by their conservative counterparts to standardize the recruitment process, build mutual trust, and minimize risks.
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Anna Clarke specializes in Education, Marketing, Business and Technology topics. As the owner of online writing company 15 Writers, she has extensive experience in providing academic Proposal writing help to students around the world.