Remote working has become increasingly popular over the past decade as more and more companies increase their abilities to work virtually and across a shared network. With the current outbreak of coronavirus, we are forced to look at how the future of remote working may become more of a necessity than previously considered. What was once considered a luxury is now vitally important to the continued success of millions of people around the world.
It is clear, based on these circumstances, that those that are predominately digital based companies will continue to operate without many issues. However, the same cannot be said for those that operate in industries such as manufacturing or hospitality. Manufacturing, while completed more through mechanical operations than ever before, is still reliant on actual human beings overseeing the processes and ensuring that the machines involved in the manufacturing process are working effectively and efficiently. On the other hand, if no one is traveling, then the hospitality industry will suffer dramatically and not be able to recuperate until people feel safe enough to travel again.
Is there anything that these companies can do in these situations to still remain profitable and functioning? Or are these industries headed for certain death in the future and this is our first look into what that future actually looks like?
For those companies that haven’t already implemented the use of a remote workforce, the silver lining of this outbreak has created a condition where many companies are trying out virtual workers for the first time. The utilization of video chat applications will surely see a quick increase during this time. Additionally, contrary to what one may think, productivity tends to increase when employees are able to work from the comfort of their own homes.
Remote working has commonly been though of as a lazy option for those who don’t want a real job – and yet here we are, at a point in China where remote workers are the only people working and industries that support remote workers are the only places that have not had their operations affected by the inability of workers to travel to the workplace. It is worth questioning now if this instance is reason enough to finally release the stigma surrounding remote workers and if more companies will begin to embrace their virtual workforce now.
While an epidemic like Coronavirus should be avoided at all cost, there is a silver lining when you look at the outlook for remote workers. This time of quarantine has provided an opportunity to really put the capabilities of remote workers and the function of remote working to the test and will essentially provide an opportunity for a beta-test of sorts on how remote working will affect the business of a company.