Source | www.fastcompany.com | JARED LINDZON
This one was a banner year for remote work, but 2021 is poised to be even bigger, and better, for those who continue to enjoy a flexible work arrangement.
Most Americans who work remotely today were forced out of their offices, and challenged to manage the sudden change, along with the added obstacles brought on by the pandemic. Despite this, however, the majority express an interest in working remotely moving forward, even after the crisis is over.
According to a study conducted by FlexJobs in February of 2020, only 4.7 million Americans, or roughly 3.4% of the population, worked remotely. In the past year that number rose to 42%, as the pandemic forced offices to close. A recent FlexJobs survey of 4,000 people who are working remotely found 65% want to work remotely full-time after the pandemic, while 31% would prefer a hybrid work arrangement.
Looking ahead to 2021—the year many expect vaccines to bring the pandemic under control—remote work is expected to become easier, more equitable, less isolating, and perhaps even more financially rewarding.
“I don’t think it will necessarily be as flashy as 2020 has been, with this huge overnight change, but I think 2021 has the makings of being an important year in terms of the foundation of the next level of remote work,” says Brie Reynolds, senior career specialist at FlexJobs. “More employers have a stake in it now, so I think we’ll see the foundation for what remote work will look like for the next five or ten years being laid in 2021.”
Here are a few of the ways experts expect remote work to expand and improve in the year ahead.