A temporary ‘bug’ becomes a permanent ‘feature’
The COVID-19 pandemic radically shifted where we work, and how we work. Ahead is the opportunity for visionary business leaders and policy makers to chart options and pathways for creating more permanent options and shape ‘new normals’ for how and where work gets done.
The crisis has forced many organisations to adopt remote working arrangements as an emergency measure to continue operating.
However, many organisations may look to make remote working arrangements a permanent option given the potential cost, productivity and talent attraction benefits.
While the potential for remote work varies across geographies, sectors and occupations, we estimate a potential 50 million jobs could switch to remote work across the ASEAN-6 countries.
An abrupt transition to working from home has not been ideal. Homes might lack a “fit-for-purpose” space, necessary technology infrastructure, security, and privacy required for productive work. In addition, most leaders and managers also lack the necessary practices to manage high performing, virtual teams.
However, even with sub-par spaces, novice remote working practices, many firms have demonstrated their resilience in shifting work to remote, and in some cases even shown productivity gains in doing so.
As the world recovers from the pandemic the ‘new normal’ for the workplace will reset. Many, will choose, or be required, to work remotely. Conditions for working from home, and practices for working remotely will improve.
Furthermore, as remote work becomes more prevalent new workplace solutions, like “Work Near Home” suburban shared workspaces will emerge that match work environment needs with shorter commutes.
Organisations and policy makers who lead this transition will have an opportunity to shape the future of how and where we work, and create and capture value from it.