What Businesses Need to Know
It hasn’t just been employees who have had to adjust to the drastic change in workplace and remote working this year. Businesses, schools, and medical facilities have all had to implement solutions to keep their operations going. But with 2020 coming to a close, what can businesses expect telework to look like in 2021?
Tech Predictions from 2020
As time goes on, technology advances, so it’s no surprise that remote work, also sometimes called telework, grew in 2020, like it has grown steadily since its introduction but at a dramatically higher rate. Few could have predicted the massive shift to online collaboration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leading technology experts like Deloitte and Forbes predicted that AI would be the top technology trend of 2020, followed by the emergence of the new 5G network, and autonomous driving. But instead of these technologies taking the spotlight in 2020, for the average citizen, focus has been drawn to remote collaboration technology as a necessity during quarantines and shutdowns.
But now that we are entering 2021 and though there is talk of a COVID vaccine, it seems highly unlikely that remote working situations will ever return to pre-COVID numbers.
Remote Work Growth
Before 2020, many companies were resistant to large-scale remote work options, because of the uncertainty that they could maintain productivity. Even though on the hiring front, offering the flexibility to work from home is considered a highly desirable benefit by boomers and millennials alike.
The pandemic of 2020 made remote work a necessity, but it also proved its viability on a massive scale. Many in the US workforce have spent the bulk of our meetings and most of our office hours this year in front of a screen in our homes, wearing sweatpants that no one can see on our webcams.
A survey conducted by PwC of 120 US companies between May and June of 2020 shows that an estimated 77% of employees would be working from home during COVID-19. The number is estimated to decrease to 55% after the COVID regulations lessen, an impressive 16% higher than the estimated number of remote employees within those same companies in 2019.
Since March of 2020, cloud-based collaboration services have seen an unprecedented increase, with Microsoft Teams logging a record-setting 2.7 billion meeting minutes on March 31st, 2020. The virtual meeting platform Zoom has doubled in value since the beginning of 2020, and the usage of Google Hangouts, by March 31st, was 25 times higher than in January of 2020.
The Future of Remote Work
Many employees have been able to return to work, but sources seem to agree that remote work will be much more prevalent in the workplace than it was before 2020. A survey of 1,800 people conducted by Harvard Business School in both small and larger businesses found that more than one-third of firms that had employees switch to remote work believe that it will remain more common at their company even after the COVID-19 crisis ends.
Businesses are also seeing benefits from the increase in remote work. The predominant benefit for businesses in employing more remote workers is a financial benefit. Overhead costs can be significantly lower with fewer employees working in an office. Businesses can have smaller office spaces and smaller parking lots, which ultimately leads to lower rent and property costs, lower utility costs, and in some cases, lower equipment costs.
Other benefits of more remote work are improved morale and less stress on employees, thus strengthening employee retention, some even report increases in productivity, which ultimately contribute to a company’s bottom line.
Remote Collaboration Continuation
The continuation of many businesses during the COVID-19 crisis has been made possible by the technologies that allow for scalable remote collaboration. And while it’s easy to use Zoom and other video call platforms for meetings, what about businesses that need more collaboration than a 45-minute meeting?
Accession Meeting Shared
VIP recommends Accession Meeting Shared to our customers for video conferencing. It’s a cloud service that’s scalable to your business. There are no extra costs for upgrades or new features, subscription prices are predictable, and you get unlimited voice conferencing, not to mention the enterprise-class features like the Outlook Calendar plug-in, iPad and iPhone screen sharing, call recording, desktop screen, app, and document sharing, and more. Click here to view or download the PDF.
Accession Meeting Webinar
For large scale web and video events, VIP recommends Accession Meeting Webinar. With this solution, businesses can leverage technology and create virtual teams. This solution is designed to give you the ability to host online events like lectures, distance learning, virtual seminars, all-hands meetings, product demos, and more. Accession Meeting Webinar allows for large scale online events with easy scheduling and setup, custom branding and messaging, flexible registration options, chat, Q&A panel, event recording and so much more. Click here to view or download the PDF.
If you have questions or would like to get started with any of the remote solutions VIP offers, feel free to Contact Us.