The world of work underwent seismic shifts during the early spring of 2020. Millions of workers globally found themselves suddenly working remotely, eschewing water cooler conversations, round-trip daily commutes and office politics. Replacing that was a sort of birth-under-fire remote work reality. This situation has many organizations scrambling to find the right solutions to keep homebound employees productive while at the same time ensuring that their valuable corporate data is as accessible and secure as it was when the workforce came to the office.
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At some point, the forces that compelled workers to work from home will ease up. The question is what will the new normal in the workplace look like then? As a Forbes article states in unambiguous terms, “The battle for remote work has been ongoing. … Once companies have the processes and tools in place, and the results of weeks, even months, of remote working, it will be difficult to put the genie back in the bottle.”1
In other words, organizations may have no choice but to deploy remote work solutions that not only keep workers productive and data safe, but also give management confidence in this new normal.
Data favors remote work solutions
There is ample research and survey data―along with cold, hard statistics―that weighs heavily in favor of allowing workers either partial or total remote work situations. For example:
• After the current crisis abates, organizations will come under intense cost
control pressure. CBRE Group estimates that a typical U.S. enterprise spends
as much as $12,000 per employee annually for office space.2
• Recent surveys by McKinsey Global Institute3 and by Buffer4 found that workers freed from the full measure of
constraints of office life report far higher levels of job satisfaction as well as greater productivity.
• A recent MIT study5 found that 34% of Americans who had been commuting to work were working full time from
home by early spring, which is the same percentage of people who actually can work at home owing to the nature of
their jobs, according to the University of Chicago.6
• Gallup Research reports that a stunning 54% of office workers polled say they’d leave their current job for one that
offers flexible work time, meaning more work-at-home opportunities.7
• Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, predicts 30% of people will work from home at least part time within
two years.8 This represents a radical shift from the 4% of U.S. workers who were doing so prior to early spring 2020.
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1 “Remote Work Is the New Norm. Will It Last?” Forbes, March 30, 2020
3 “COVID-19 and Jobs: Monitoring the U.S. Impact on People and Places,” McKinsey Global Institute, April 29, 2020
4 “The 2020 State of Remote Work,” Buffer
5 “COVID-19 and Remote Work: An Early Look at U.S. Data,” MIT, April 8, 2020
6 “How Many Jobs Can be Done at Home?” University of Chicago, April 16, 2020
7 “Is Working Remotely Effective? Gallup Research Says Yes,” Gallup, Jan. 24, 2020
8 “Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey,” Global Workplace Analytics, May 14, 2020