The world has changed for everyone on almost every level because of Covid-19. The pandemic has also changed the way we do business and there is no avoiding it. There is no going back to the way it was.
Forbes writer Enrique Dans says, “The ability to resist the forces of isomorphism is what separates good business leaders from bad ones: either closing the pandemic chapter and refusing to learn anything from what we’ve been through, or taking cues from a new context, understanding that some things have changed forever. A bad business leader simply goes back to doing things as they were before, because that’s how they’ve always been done: nine-to-five, Monday to Friday.” in his recent article titled The Pandemic Has Changed Business Structures: There’s No Going Back.
The world witnessed a historic shift in the 2020 job market due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While some companies used to offer the ability to work from home as a perk, it has now become the new normal for most businesses. By 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month. While 2020 may be considered the year of remote work, it is just the beginning as we see the trend continuing in 2021.
Hiring Remote Staff will Forever be the New Normal
Hiring remote staff and outsourcing processes has been a key tool for Fortune 500 companies for decades. There is no secret that their customer support, technical support, billing teams, and more have been overseas for the better part of the last 30 years. A lot of companies had this idea that outsourcing jobs was un-American, or a loss of trust for their customers when the naivety of that was made apparent by the pandemic some stubborn business owners decided to go down with their ship.
The big difference now, sitting in July of 2021 the mindset is slowly starting to shift. Many small, medium, and SME companies have now learned that hiring staff to work remotely, hiring outsourcing companies to help them, if not a betrayal of nationalism; it is smart business. Unfortunately, a lot of these businesses had to learn this lesson the hard way. I say unfortunately because I do not believe that outsourcing or hiring staff to work remotely should have had to be done under the pressures of a global pandemic.
The percentage of remote staff that will continue to work from home is expected to double in 2021 with conservative estimates. According to a survey from Enterprise Technology Research (ETR). “The productivity metric is proving that remote work is working,” said Erik Bradley, chief engagement strategist at ETR. “So, we all thought that there would be some increase in permanent remote work, but we didn’t expect that to double from pre-pandemic levels.”
Gartner CFO survey said that (74%) plan to permanently shift staff to remotely working at home or overseas after the Covid-19 crisis ends. And of course, the Big Tech companies will be the first to show the rest of us the way.
- Twitter, told employees in May that they can work from home indefinitely.
- Square, adopted the same policy around the same time which will allow employees to work from home indefinitely, even after offices reopen.
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told their employees in late May that many would work remotely indefinitely.
So if you are a small business that expects to hire the best talent in the world and want to compete in your local market for your fair share of the market share you cannot do so by firing the reality of the new world with fewer offices.
Outsourcing or hiring staff to work remotely or work from home is simply the new normal. There is no going back. You can try to stop it but you will lose. The world’s workforce has spoken and they do want a work-life balance. They do want to work remotely. And they do not care if you (business owner or managers) do not like it. If you do not like it, someone else will hire them who has accepted the fate of the New Normal or business.
Do not believe me? Let me give you some stats for you to soak in:
- According to Upwork, 41.8% of the American workforce continues to work remotely. An estimated 26.7% will be working from home through 2021.
- 36.2 million Americans (22% of the workforce) will be working remotely by 2025.
- 16% of companies in the world are 100% remote.
- 44% of companies don’t allow remote work. (These will die eventually or be bought by a smarter board of directors)
- Better work-life balance is the main reason why people choose to work remotely.
- 77% of remote workers say they’re more productive when working from home.
- The average annual income of remote workers is $4,000 higher than that of other workers.
- 85% of managers believe that having teams with remote workers will become the new norm.
- 74% of workers say that having the option to work remotely would make them less likely to leave a company.
- The three biggest challenges associated with remote work are unplugging after work (22%), loneliness (19%), and communication/collaboration (17%).
As a business that focuses on hiring people remotely, you would just have to assume that our word is biased and that what we say is our opinion, and that is a fair point of view. Wouldn’t it also be smart to consider that we would know how huge this shift is because we are in the space for it? The answer to that somewhat condescending question is yes, we would know.
Our industry is blowing up with companies from every major economy in the world. From the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and of course the United States of America. Companies are flooding the phones and emails trying to find a way to continue to stay in business, be more profitable, scale with no money, and tap into the resources all the huge mega-companies have been using for years.
I loved this statement so much from Jeanne Meister of Forbes I had to put it in here. “The Covid-19 coronavirus is becoming the accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations of our lifetime. How we work, exercise, shop, learn, communicate, and of course, where we work, will be changed forever!”
At the end of the day we love the idea of people being more open to hiring staff remotely, and we think it is truly a great way to hedge your monetary investments and have less of your money work harder for you.
The reason we wrote this article is not that we want more businesses to turn to remote staffing and outsourcing. We wrote this article to educate the common small, medium, and large businesses who are just starting to look at outsourcing and warn them this is not temporary. Knowing that hiring remote staff and outsourcing is not temporary is so important. It is not about the money you spend to kick-start your outsourcing and remote staffing programs. It is about being mentally invested in the success of this tool and getting the buy-in from all of your management teams and board members to realize this is a new way and only way forward.
Being in the outsourcing space for over 10 years, I have first-hand knowledge of how many companies have been saved by using and hiring staff remotely. It makes perfect sense to take repeating processes and do them at the lowest possible cost with the highest level of repeatability and scalability. Sounds like common sense right? Try saying that in 2019. In 2021, we have customers coming to us regularly and saying they want to “hire remote staff until the pandemic is over”, news flash, this remote working format is not going anywhere.