The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we live literally in every area, including working. While it took some time for people to adapt to the pandemic circumstances, today, most people seem to be a little bit more okay with it, at least relatively.
For sure, one of the main areas where the pandemic influenced our lives is in the business and work environment. Many businesses had to switch to remote working, and some of those kept the remote working environment even though the pandemic was moving in a better direction.
But, what does it tell us? Is remote working better than the other options, or is it making everything worse?
Luckily, today we are here to tell you the truth about remote working during the pandemic. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Remote Working Experience of 5 Different Sectors
It is clear that there is a sudden increase in remote working rates with the pandemic. Before the pandemic, the percentage of remote workers was around 10%, which increased to 77% during the pandemic.
However, the pandemic did not influence every sector equally, and some sectors are clearly more prone to work remotely, given the nature of their business. Like, someone who carries out all their work on a computer has a better chance to work remotely.
So, to give you a clearer picture of what is going on in the remote working experience, here are five different sectors and how remote working has influenced them:
|Finance and insurance
|According to the data of the sector in the USA, people working in the finance and insurance fields make the most of the remote workers in 2020. It makes sense since the finance and insurance sectors’ work can be easily done working from home.
|Computer and IT
|Another sector that announces the highest rates of remote workers is computer and IT. In fact, the computer and IT sector was already a sector that hired remote workers long before COVID. The COVID pandemic allowed more computer and IT workers to experience a remote working environment. Statistics from Russia show that most of the remote workers (16%) are from the computer and IT sectors.
|Medical and Health
|It might sound a little irrelevant, but the medical and health sectors are also influenced by the remote working in the pandemic. Of course, a doctor is the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about the medical sector, but obviously it is nearly impossible for doctors to work remotely. However, finance, accounting, research, pharmaceutics, and healthcare information specialists in the health sector are greatly influenced by the remote working experience.
|Due to COVID, many educational institutions got closed. As you may already know, most of the classes have been held online through online video conference tools such as Zoom. In fact, various institutions are continuing to online classes, and some newer online education opportunities are rising.
|The nature of the administrative sector allows remote working, and like the rest of the sectors, there has been an increase after the pandemic. Because it is traditionally believed that the physical presence of administrative figures is needed at the workplace, it is likely that the administrative sector will eventually go back to office as the pandemic bans are lifted.
The effects of remote working on Collaboration: Are We Alone?
As people psychically move away from each other, it also feels like they are losing their team spirit and sense of belonging. This is a simple psychological concept called “proximity” that refers to the fact that being physically close to someone strengthens the bonds between them.
And how can this be related to remote working? One of the most important points of businesses is collaboration. While there is an opinion stating that working remotely has increased the general psychological wellbeing, there is also an opinion stating that being away from colleagues has proven to be more problematic than being together.
Of course, it would be more challenging to perform efficient teamwork when you are away, wouldn’t it? Thankfully, with the increased number of tools, more people are able to stay connected with their teams.
However, statistics tell different things when it comes to team collaboration while working remotely. While a study conducted with engineers revealed that engineers are 20% more efficient in collaboration, another study (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-021-01196-4) conducted by Microsoft workers reveals that there is a general decrease in the overall efficiency of collaboration.
Out of sight, out of mind – or vice versa?
But it gets even more complicated. 93% of the MIT workers claimed that their collaboration got better with the remote working conditions! So, the only thing that can be said here is that there might be other parameters.
The effects of remote working on Productivity: What do the Stats Say?
Perhaps the most common concern about remote working is productivity. Like the collaboration, this part is controversial as well. So, let’s see what do the statistics say about this and decide for ourselves.
68% of the IT and digital sector seems to increase their productivity, while this percentage is only around 51% in research and innovation. Even though there is a difference, still more than half of the research and innovation sector claimed their productivity has increased.
The effects of remote working on Job Satisfaction: Are We Fulfilled?
Another important part of remote working is job satisfaction. Even before the COVID, job satisfaction was an issue that influenced the overall performance of workers.
And once again, the emotions are complicated here. As you may already guess from the formerly mentioned statistics, some people state that their collaboration and productivity have increased, while others claim otherwise. Of course, there is a general tendency, and we can have a general idea.
A pre-COVID study carried out by Schall in 2019 found out that the remote working environment is positively correlated with job satisfaction, meaning that people claim to be more satisfied with their jobs in the remote working environment. However, the study also illustrated that this is only valid to a certain extent, so it would not keep increasing linearly.
So, what do you think would happen in the COVID case?
Statistics in Spain show that 42% of workers are relatively satisfied with their jobs in the remote environment, and 21% stated that they are not satisfied at all. Moreover, 34% of the USA remote workers stated that their anxiety and stress are reduced, which can be a reason contributing to increased job satisfaction.
Moreover, in a study done with 8000 remote workers, it was found out that 60% of the workers are happy with working remotely and would continue to do so (https://www.itproportal.com/news/remote-working-is-leading-to-higher-job-satisfaction-for-many). Seventy percent of those workers also stated that their job satisfaction has increased as they switched to the remote working model.
The Future of Working from Home for Companies & Individuals
In general, it might be challenging to adapt to a change, which happens to be the remote working environment in today’s world. Surprisingly, the general tendency shows us that people are happy and satisfied with it. Still, it should be noted that it is not plausible to say this for every aspect of remote work.
Many companies seem to be okay with remote working since it reduces a significant amount of costs for them. While some workers are happy that they are spending more time with their families, remote working can also be depressing to some due to not leaving the house for longer periods of time.
In general, it seems like remote working is not going anywhere soon. More companies and people are getting used to it, and if there is more demand for remote working, there would be opportunities as well.
What are remote work statistics for 2021?
What are the remote working trends of 2021?
How to increase productivity while working from home during a pandemic?
Which sectors work from home most?
Originally posted on January 3, 2022 @ 2:40 pm