Looking Ahead to Remote Work in 2021
The events of 2020 altered the workforce drastically, and those changes will continue in 2021. Companies like Facebook and Twitter have announced that they have shifted to permanent work from home (also referred to as WFH) arrangements for their employees, while other companies like Google have announced a work from home policy through the fall of 2021. Work from home arrangements are also referred to as hybrid or flexible schedule positions, and can include jobs in a variety of industries including technology, personal finance management and accounting, sales, education, medical, and many more. Let’s take a look at how remote work will continue to be a growing trend in 2021 and what remote workers (or potential remote workers) should keep in mind as they look ahead to the new year and identify opportunities to join this new workforce dynamic.
Upwork, which is the largest remote talent platform in the world, released a 2020 study called The Future of Workforce Pulse Report, which surveyed 1,000 hiring managers to get a pulse on future hiring trends. The study revealed that 1 in 4 Americans will be working remotely in 2021, which is a direct effect of employers growing more comfortable with allowing existing employees and hiring new employees to work from home. The study estimates that 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025—an 87% increase from the pre-pandemic levels of 16.8 million. The study also reveals that almost 57% of teams work from home at least part of the time, and more than 40% of those teams are 100% remote.
The study also finds that 59 million Americans currently freelance or serve as an independent contractor in some capacity, which represents over one-third of the total workforce, and that employers most comfortable with remote work also tend to hire freelancers to get projects done. Upwork’s chief economist Adam Ozimek notes that “Our research shows the long-lasting impact that remote work and Covid-19 are likely to have on how hiring managers think about their organizations. As businesses adapt and learn from this remote work experiment, many are altering their long-term plans to accommodate this way of working.”
It’s clear that remote work and work from home arrangements are not going anywhere anytime soon. Companies are realizing that in many cases their employees can be just as productive working from home as they don’t need to worry about commuting times cutting into the day. Additionally, employers have reported great satisfaction in initiating these new work from home policies.
Opportunities for Remote Workers
On the employee side, this shift offers remote workers a unique opportunity to develop new skills and pursue opportunities that will allow them to work remotely and achieve a higher quality work-life balance. Those who wish to work remotely will need to be well versed in how to interview for remote positions, how to be productive as a remote worker, and how to communicate with colleagues when they are halfway around the world instead of in an office down the hallway.
Remote work also opens up new opportunities for freelancing, where individuals can work as an independent contractor for one or more companies—no matter where in the U.S. or the world the company is located. Freelance work offers the ability to choose clients and projects that are interesting for the freelancer. With an array of multiple clients, freelancers can enjoy having some variety in their day-to-day work.
If you currently work from home, or are seeking a remote position in 2021, it’s important that you continue to develop your skills so that you make yourself as productive as possible to improve in your current position or obtain a new one. 2021 will offer unparalleled opportunities to develop skills, grow professionally, and connect with colleagues and employers from all around the globe—all from the comfort of your own home.
Check out CTeLearning courses today to develop your skills for a brand new start in 2021.