Much has been written about the shift to remote work since coronavirus emerged. A year into the Covid-19 era little progress has been made on creating the conditions to emerge from pandemic mode: Vaccination programs have gone slow in many Western countries, and new variants of the virus have emerged in the United Kingdom, South African and Brazil, calling into question the efficacy of the vaccines that are currently on the market.
Traditional wisdom would posit that those factors will have an outsized impact on bringing workers back to the office. But while Covid-19 may have sparked the shift to remote work, there is no indication the trend will reverse itself on the day after the pandemic.
According to Forbes, the number of workers permanently working from home is expected to double in 2021, with up to 70 percent of the workforce predicted to maintain arrangements to work from home at least five days a month – regardless of developments surrounding Covid-19.
“The rise of remote will lead to people re-prioritizing what is important to them,” said Chris Herd, founder and CEO of Firstbase, a tool to help companies transition to remote working.
Herd told Inc., “Organizing your work around your life will be the first noticeable switch. People realizing they are more than their job will lead to deeper purpose in other areas.”
Herd says remote work is beneficial for both employers, who can focus on outcomes and eliminating “senseless tasks,” and for employees, who have the ability to work when they want, spend time with their families and concentrate on their health and exercise.
Early signs appear to validate Herd’s analysis. Commercial real estate values have plummeted in urban centers around the world, with rental prices down 30 percent in New York, large swaths of empty office space in downtown Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, and London-based HSBC announcing it would slash office space around the world up to 40 percent.