When the COVID-19 pandemic started to surge across the world, much of the workforce shifted to remote operations, but it has become clear over the past several months that this shift is likely temporary, forcing many employers to consider the hardest question of all: what will it take to get people back in the office? A report from Gartner suggests that it’s not as easy as it sounds, and in fact might be moving in the opposite direction to what employers are hoping.
TechRepublic examined a report by Gartner that 51% of knowledge workers are expected to work remotely by the end of 2021, up from 27% in 2019. Another notable figure is the number of workers worldwide expected to be remote by the end of the year, which is 32%, up from 17% in 2019. 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.
With these trends in mind, many employers are considering how they will accommodate remote work in the future. It’s easy to see some of the benefits of remote work alongside the negatives, as the pandemic has forced these organizations to implement remote work and social distancing policies. Employees who once thought they could only get work done in the office have “seen the light,” so to speak, and now they don’t want to give up remote work in some capacity. According to Gartner’s 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey, 70% of employees work at least part of their workweek out of the office.
This does come with some challenges to overcome, the most notable of which being the procurement of tools and technology solutions that facilitate it. Even if you have staff who only work remotely part of the time, you still must ensure they have access to the appropriate tools. These tools should allow your employees to access files and documents even while out of the office, as well as the solutions required to make use of this information. Furthermore, you must prioritize the security of this entire process. It’s safe to say that remote work is anything but simple.
Without devices to work remotely, your employees won’t have any use for these applications and solutions. You should consider equipping your staff with devices like laptops and smartphones so they can stay connected to the office without the need to use their unsecured (and uncontrolled) personal devices to access your company’s assets and resources.
Setton Consulting can help your business overcome the many challenges that come with remote work and prepare your organization for the difficulties ahead. To learn more about how we can augment your remote workplace policies, reach out to us at (212) 796-6061.