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Industry Insights

Is Remote Work Here to Stay? 5 Reasons Why We Think So

By Akhila Sriram on August 5, 2021

As vaccination rates are slowly increasing worldwide, workplaces are seeing the opportunity for shifting back to pre-pandemic work styles and culture. We are seeing workplaces shifting back to in-person routines or hybrid routines of partially remote work and partially in-office work schedules. There are also many companies such as Atlassian, Brex, Dropbox, and Twitter which have announced that they will stick with remote work indefinitely. Since the pandemic began, and because the global workforce changed drastically, we are seeing long lasting shifts in how people work as individuals and teams.  

As evidenced by our LinkedIn poll last week, there are aspects of remote work that employees wish would stick around, even if remote work may not last much longer. Here is our list of remote work advantages that we think are sticking around for the future: 

1. More digital collaboration 

Now that the global workforce has gotten a taste of more technology integrated with work practices, a transition back to less use to digital collaboration platforms will not happen. There is a global trend towards companies undergoing digital transformation, and this use of technology for how teams and individuals collaborate is one step along this transformation. Digital transformation entails digitizing everything, from product development pipelines to team management, to company-wide meetings and celebrations. By finding platforms to continue working together, employees have stayed connected digitally when they cannot work together physically, and work practices have thus been transformed. 

2. More video/phone calls than traveling for in-person meetings 

Due to the pandemic limiting what travel was necessary for business to continue, many professions that previously had to travel have shifted to remote and more digital means of communication. According to airlines and travel agencies, corporate travel remains 70% or more below pre-pandemic levels, so the transition back to pre-pandemic levels of travel for work is slow by all measures. Trips have started up again, with communication and collaboration at the heart of the purpose behind these trips. But anything that can be kept virtual and distanced for convenience still is. In-person kick-offs or milestones balanced with virtual or distanced check-ins seems to be the new norm for corporate travel, to balance the time commitment of traveling for work with the ease of connecting online. 

3. Virtual options for team socialization 

Bringing together physically distant teams has never been a hotter topic than this past year. Some teams were physically remote even before the pandemic but had limited options for spending time and building community with one another. With the advent of new options for online games, calls, and collaboration platforms, teams can do everything from jointly watching movies to playing digital versions of beloved board games together. Even the odd virtual competition has helped build community between teammates, like trivia or cooking competitions, facilitated virtually and remotely, but with equal amounts of fun and competitiveness to be channeled into the events. 

4. Balancing coming to the office and working remotely 

Now that collaboration and focused work have proved effective, no matter the employee’s work environment, organizations are striving to find their own “new normal.” Companies are trying to strike a balance between employees’ request for more remote work and the community-building that working in the same physical environment brings to its employees. Remote work has dropped commute times to nothing and have also allowed employees to find new environments where they can focus and be most productive. By supporting this flexibility, employers look more innovative and welcoming to employees. And new employees can onboard with their employer and figure out the balance for themselves within their margins of defined flexibility from the company.  

5. More global and widespread hiring 

Here at OSG Analytics, since the pandemic began and remote work took precedence over in-office work, our hiring practices have also widened in scope and reach. Our previously Newtown and Bengaluru-based offices have now become teams than span the whole of the US and India, respectively, as well as more teammates around the world, not bound to any physical office. With technology to link us all together, we can continue working as our teams while onboarding new talent to our increasingly widespread OSG family. We could work from where we are and handle our lockdown restrictions locally while working and collaborating effectively through our various digital platforms. We have been able to hire talent without regard to geographic location, allowing our teams to grow from the diverse strengths and skillsets we are bringing together