It looks like we’ve moved through the worst of the pandemic as many countries around the world are starting to reopen businesses and head back into a time of recovery, the question many now face is what is the new ‘normal’ and what measures put in place to prevent a spread should remain. Within the UK, to even reopen once the June deadline is here a business has to prove they are COVID-19 safe, which requires plexiglass barriers where necessary, space for employees to be separated as well as one way systems and social distancing measures, whilst it may be easier to continue remote working whilst these measures are in place they won’t be here forever, and in that situation is it likely that remote working remains a permanent fixture in business?
(Image from blog.bonus.ly)
The first step will be to look at the data available in the coming weeks and months – it has been suggested already that productivity hasn’t taken a hit and in some instances that for many productivity has even gone up – there’s also the question around business infrastructure and whether or not remote working can be employed on a larger scale in the long term, as many may only be setup to handle this temporarily. The success on a longer term acceptance of remote working could largely be reliant on the current infrastructure and how well many embrace the change, although a shift to digital platforms has certainly allowed for an acceleration in this matter.
Examples of successful remote working businesses can already be seen too – a good study can be found in mobile gaming, particularly as online casinos have found a huge surge in popularity during the lockdown period – this is during a time where the market had faced some uncertainty too as regulation change led to a credit card ban and the wider spread introduction of an initiative called gamstop to prevent access to many, whilst many aren’t required to operate under gamstop with a good list of them being found here, the growth of these services continued nonetheless large in part to a way in which they’re able to operate, in a remote capacity.
There will certainly be some challenges to overcome if remote working is to stay, but as a dry run of an experiment that has been considered for quite some time it seems that the prediction many had made of this being the future of many businesses is certainly ringing true – other suggestions have been made that a four day working week alongside a remote working schedule could improve productivity and employee satisfaction in areas in which it is able to be employed successfully. For the most part, it is now just a waiting game until a larger scale reopening takes place, but a growing support from employees and a successful experience from employers could lead to the remote working employee being the next big step for many businesses moving forward.