Many businesses around the globe are shifting to a remote working strategy in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As that shift takes place, many in the industry are watching to understand how this move to virtual work could permanently change the workforce.
In this article from The Guardian, the author explores how moving to a remote or virtual working model during the outbreak could lead to more employees working from home permanently. When both employees and organizations see that it is possible (and potentially more productive) to successfully work from home, it will be harder to revert back to the way things were before the outbreak of coronavirus.
Matt Mullenweg, chief executive of WordPress and Tumblr owner Automattic, was quoted in the article, stating "This is not how I envisioned the distributed work revolution taking hold." He predicts the changes "might also offer an opportunity for many companies to finally build a culture that allows long-overdue work flexibility."
As the COVID-19 outbreak begins to slow (although it's hard to estimate when that will be), employees, managers and organizations may face the reality that teams have embraced remote working. Many workers may no longer feel the need to come into an office or physically be in the same workspace to feel connected and get work done.
But it looks increasingly as if the situation will not ever go back to how it was: many employees for companies who have sent all staff home are already starting to question why they had to go in to the office in the first place.