Your business can greatly benefit from the latest trends in the virtual workplace.
This can lead to formidable solutions for perhaps, many of your biggest problems today.
For starters, you’ll be able to compare what you’re currently doing, against what remote work is likely to look like, say, in the next few months.
And we think that’s just one of the many advantages.
In this 2018 report, Red Rocket Ventures managing partner George Deeb said what they save from material expenses like office equipment and additional office space rent among other overheads can be re-invested in more important business areas, such as talent acquisition and marketing.
So a virtual workspace saves them good money.
They also said they’re able to access the right talent from anywhere in the world.
Deeb added that they can hire talent from Des Moines and other lower-cost job markets as easy as doing this in San Francisco or higher cost labor markets.
So having access to global resources can also save money.
Plus, a more productive team can, of course, generate much better bottom-line results.
Adobe provider CoSo Cloud, in their 2015 survey, pointed out that more than a third of randomly selected respondents say they produce more work output at a much higher quality when they work off-site.
Our Take on Today’s Remote Work Trends
Now imagine what you’ll learn from what we found.
We’ll tell you all about 16 of today’s biggest remote work trends.
We believe these are likely to affect the performance of many businesses, globally.
And how about taking advantage of these opportunities, before they hit the mainstream?
What’s the potential impact of these off-site work systems, processes, and arrangements?
Well, take a look at our findings …
Remote Work Trends by Numbers
In this survey, CoSo Cloud said 3 out of 10 participants produce more work output in less time.
Meanwhile, more than half take fewer leaves and vacations, even when they aren’t feeling well.
But the 2019 State of the Digital Workplace report says almost 70% are feeling left out.
The absence of effective off-site communication and knowledge sharing pipelines is the primary cause.
So it’s generally more challenging to implement an organized framework for your remote and in-house employees to collaborate.
Pros & Cons of These Remote Work Trends
Now let’s study the pros and cons of a virtual workforce. Here are the most significant benefits:
- Low Barrier Entry — Small businesses can be built with minimal expenses. This can also result in a wider diversity of more inexpensive, or much better, local providers;
- Sustainable Growth — Scaling up your virtual workforce is faster and cheaper. Also, you aren’t limited to job markets within the vicinity of your office. This means you can hire the best talent anywhere in the world. Plus, you can immediately grow your teams as you won’t need to rent additional workspace, acquire new equipment or hire more employees among other time-consuming activities; and
- Cost Savings — Imagine all the time and money that your business can save. No additional rental expenses for a larger office space. No upfront investment for additional equipment. No new staff to hire for managing and supporting your larger teams. Think about it.
But now, let’s highlight the primary drawbacks and difficulties in nurturing a virtual workspace:
- Team Communication Issues — Without an optimized pipeline for your in-house and remote teams to collaborate, your business is likely to be missing out on a lot of opportunities. According to this 2019 report, many start-ups, small businesses, and established organizations are unable to jump over this hurdle;
- Trust Concerns — Working with off-site employees in various states and countries can expose your business to certain security risks, according to 90% of corporate executives and leaders who responded to this 2018 OpenVPN survey. So it’s a bit more challenging to monitor and regulate how your business trade secrets and confidential customer details are shared when you’re working with remote workers in an array of geographic locations; and
- Technical Problems — TimeCamp says many remote employees don’t have any technical training in troubleshooting the devices they use to fulfill their tasks. They also added that some aren’t supplied with the right information on which tools to use, and how to take advantage of these solutions. TimeCamp, Inc. is a popular development firm of remote work solutions in the USA. They listed this issue as one of the 5 main problems of managing an off-site team.
And now let’s take a closer look at 16 of the most significant remote work trends this 2019.
What we’re about to share can arm your business with timely information …
Top 16 Remote Work Trends of the Year
More employers are expected to look for advanced ICT skills when hiring talent.
Today, higher expertise in Web development, social media, and virtual workforce management are some of the most sought after qualifications today.
That’s because lots of employers now consider fundamental computing tasks like emailing, word processing, spreadsheet manipulation and so on as just general skill sets that everyone should possess.
So it’s now crucial more than ever for job seekers to improve their ICT skills and experience.
This ranges from software programming, Web and mobile app development to graphics design, content writing, social media marketing, and remote workspace management among others.
As a job seeker, you’re advised to start learning a combination of these skills.
And as an employer, you’re recommended to improve your hiring standards, training processes and management methodologies to keep at pace with this trend.
Lots of employers are now formulating additional team-building strategies.
Forbes pointed out that 21% of remote employees say loneliness is among their most challenging problems when working off-site.
So a lot of employers are addressing this issue today.
And more are expected to rapidly deploy “in-the-office days” protocols and team building activities to resolve this problem.
By addressing this drawback, employers expect their remote workers to become more productive.
They also say this can lead to more efficient communication and creative collaboration results between their virtual employees and in-house staff.
So keep this in mind when you’re improving your workforce management and training plans this year.
New and much better cybersecurity solutions for virtual workspaces.
Many businesses with virtual workplaces continue to encounter serious cybersecurity problems, as highlighted by this 2018 report from US-based global mobile connectivity provider iPass.
Their findings indicate that over 57% of corporate executives, business leaders, IT managers and other respondents in the USA say their mobile workforces encountered significant hacker attacks from 2017 to 2018.
So more companies are expected to offer enhanced cybersecurity tools this 2019.
These are for protecting virtual work environments, knowledge-sharing platforms, private databases, local and mobile networks.
And you’re recommended to better prepare your back end platforms and front end systems for these new and improved cybersecurity tools.
Better solutions for trust issues between remote staff and team leaders.
In their 2018 research study, US-based global analytics provider Gallup said there’s an 8.3% chance for optimum employee engagement when your virtual staff and in-house workers don’t trust the leaders, managers, and executives of your business.
And lower employee engagement leads to negative implications regarding productivity and creative collaboration.
Gallup also added that there’s a 50% chance to promote much better employee engagement as soon as this trust issue is resolved, which is a little more than a six-fold improvement.
So building trust throughout your business, especially between your virtual workers and in-house staff, can lead to more than a 600% workforce productivity increase.
And you might want to keep that in mind as you tweak your hiring processes, management methodologies and strategies this year.
Also, don’t forget to consider these things when optimizing your communication systems for your off-site staff and in-house personnel.
Specialized expertise’s becoming even more valuable today for many employers.
Authority knowledge and significant skill sets in certain niche markets and industries are now beneficial more than ever for lots of businesses, globally.
Over a third of HR (human resource) managers say the demand for these specialized skills and expertise is likely to grow much bigger within the next decade.
But this demand is likely to make it much harder for many businesses to find the best talent locally.
And to resolve this — You’re advised to consider building virtual workspaces.
That’s because you can tap significant global job markets when you do this.
More government laws and company policies are expected to support remote work.
The federal government of the USA continues to support remote work arrangements and flexible employment contracts.
They’ve been doing this for the past couple of decades.
And more countries are expected to implement laws and policies in the next several years.
Many of these are predicted to support virtual workspace development, management and collaboration among public and private entities, independent workers, social organizations and academic institutions among others.
This year, a lot of companies across many countries are also expected to develop more supportive internal policies for their remote workforces and in-house staff.
This is primarily to align their internal employment arrangements with these new government laws and policies.
But this is also to enhance the productivity and engagement of their off-site employees and in-house personnel.
So don’t forget to keep yourself updated with the latest propositions for new laws and policies.
And stay in close contact with the governments of the countries where you operate your offices and virtual workplaces.
This is likely to help you generate new ideas for your own business policies and workforce management strategies ahead of your competitors.
Larger numbers of more accessible incubators, tech hubs, and support communities.
Local and global incubators are expected to grow in number this year.
So do tech hubs and development support communities.
And they’re also likely to make their programs and services more accessible to start-ups, solopreneurs, SMEs, independent groups and many others.
This can mainly be attributed to the more diverse government laws and company policies that are continuing to be implemented throughout various countries.
Lots of these are much better, broader support initiatives for the target beneficiaries of these incubators, tech hubs, and development communities.
So expect more partnerships among these support organizations and government offices, along with public and private organizations, commercial establishments, independent groups, academic institutions, and social enterprises.
Try to factor this into your business development strategies, marketing techniques and networking tactics this year.
Much better training strategies for off-site workforces and in-house staff.
Virtual workforces need to be well-prepared for unforeseen events and issues, especially with the equipment they use for completing their day-to-day responsibilities.
TimeCamp, Inc. mentioned that many remote workers lack the knowledge and experience in fixing their computers, devices and software tools.
Plus, keep in mind that a lot of off-site employees must regularly use new digital communication platforms, access Web databases and collaborate with their colleagues through knowledge sharing applications.
So they should also be trained in fortifying the security of their remote workstations and mobile devices.
Remember, this December 2018 report from iPass points out that more than half of their respondents, which are US-based CEOs, IT managers and team leaders, say their off-site workforces regularly encounter hacker attacks.
Now prepare to see a lot of more optimized off and on-site training activities across many companies and organizations this year.
These are mostly for performing specific tasks and roles, cyber security concerns and troubleshooting fundamentals.
And you should enhance your training methodologies and systems to factor in both your on-site and remote workforces.
A significant increase in competitiveness across business and job markets.
People born from 1996 and beyond will make up over 36% of the global workforce in the next couple of years or less.
These are more than 61 million generation Z employees in the USA alone.
And they grew up using computers, the Web, social media, smartphones, and digital tools.
So think of what that implies for older job seekers who don’t have the same experience and knowledge.
More genZers are also predicted to build small businesses and tech start-ups through their digital expertise and knowledge over the next several years.
This can drastically increase the competitiveness of many niche markets worldwide.
But keep in mind, this can also widen your options when it comes to outsourcing a part of your production, support, sales, and marketing requirements.
So it might be in your best interest to take note of these things when preparing your hiring systems, training procedures and management processes for both your virtual workforces and in-house resources.
The diversity of workspace options for remote employees is expected to flourish.
A lot of off-site employees regularly go to co-working spaces to fulfill their daily duties and obligations at their jobs.
For the past several years, this has been their primary option for performing their day-to-day work activities.
But companies like Selina among many others want to provide a larger variety of workspace options for remote employees.
They’re expanding their services to other geographic locations.
Last year, Selina started bringing their combination of high-end hotels and amenities with co-working spaces and virtual workspace accommodations from Latin America to the USA and other European countries.
So it might benefit your business in the long run when you partner up with these providers in your target geographic areas for your virtual workforce.
You’ll be able to offer the best talent in your ideal regions with much better virtual workplace options than your competitors.
Better work-life balance protocols are expected from more companies, globally.
This is mainly for virtual workforces, as almost a third of them say they regularly encounter new problems from the time they began working off-site.
But this also involves in-house personnel, as they also need to collaborate with their remote teams.
So more businesses are predicted to improve their work-life balance strategies this year.
Ensuring that all employees feel more comfortable working together can generally increase their productivity.
Now keep this in mind when you begin to optimize your overall programs and activities for your off-site staff and in-house personnel.
Lots of companies are starting to prioritize employee engagement.
The ultimate goal of more strategic work-life balance protocols and collaboration platforms are for increasing the productivity of on-site staff and virtual teams.
But before this happens, an increase in employee engagement is almost always a key indicator of the successful implementation of these optimizations.
And it’s a bit more challenging to do this when you have large virtual teams that work closely with your in-house staff.
So you should pay attention to the newest methodologies, communication tools and collaborative strategies that can increase employee engagement, whether they work remotely, or as on-site personnel.
More sustainable commercial rural development is rapidly being implemented.
The virtual workplace provides lots of small businesses, established companies and multinational corporations with immediate access to global job markets.
Even freelance groups, digital solopreneurs, and independent providers are finding it more straightforward to complete much bigger projects through these remote work arrangements.
That’s why we’re seeing priority focus from both public and private institutions for the commercial development of rural areas and small towns.
This is happening all around the world and is expected to rapidly grow in the next several years.
That’s because nurturing communities of virtual workforces, start-up entrepreneurs and small businesses in these regions require the right infrastructure, along with suitable programs and services.
So redundant systems for power, Internet connectivity, and water distribution are being built and improved across these locations.
And commercial centers for banking and finance, office spaces, hotels and restaurants among many other necessary outlets are continuing to be constructed throughout these areas.
These are mostly happening in developing countries.
Now you might want to factor this into your virtual workforce growth and expansion plans.
Remember, this enables you to access more labor resources from new local areas and countries.
So aside from finding the most suitable employees from these regions, you’ll also be able to access more inexpensive options for scaling up your off-site workforce.
More companies are expected to provide home office equipment and tools.
For the past several years, almost all remote workers needed to acquire their own equipment and tools for performing their tasks and responsibilities at their off-site jobs.
They needed to have their own computers, smartphones, software products, and applications.
Many of them also needed to build home offices, acquire faster Internet connectivity and back-up power resources, especially in developing countries.
But this can often be quite expensive for virtual workers to shoulder on their own.
Plus, this sometimes exposes their employers to dependability issues and security problems.
That’s because companies didn’t have control over the overall quality of this equipment, tools, software products, services, and workplaces.
Remember, some remote workers are likely to resort to using cracked or illegitimate copies of expensive software products and applications.
These are known to be integrated with spyware and hacker backdoors among other malware programs.
Also, many of them are likely to choose more inexpensive and often less reliable computers and smartphones, especially used products.
More frequent breakdowns and other issues are often
Expected from these machines.
So lots of companies today are now providing the most suitable equipment and tools for their remote employees.
They’re also providing licensed versions of the software products and apps that their off-site resources need to perform their day-to-day duties.
Some businesses are now offering sign-up bonuses, so their virtual staff can use this to build a much better, more secure home office.
And the best talent out there today is likely to choose companies that offer these benefits over those that don’t.
So you’re advised to factor this into your hiring strategies and management techniques this year.
Expect more programs, products, and services for remote workers this year.
Banks, credit institutions and other financial organizations are continuing to offer products and services to remote workers.
Telcos and ISPs (Internet service providers) are also providing much better service packages and options that are designed for off-site employees.
Even retail outlets are offering virtual workspace equipment and tools like computers and smartphones through easy payment terms, especially in developing countries.
And you can expect more new products and services to become available this year for remote employees.
Financial institutions in developing countries are already making it easier for the unbanked in these regions to open a savings account and accept salary remittances from overseas sources.
Their credit products are also more accessible today for freelancers, off-site employees, casual virtual workers, remote contractors and the like.
So you might want to take a closer look at the most relevant products and services that are already available in the countries where your virtual workforce is mostly based.
You’re also advised to learn about new solutions that are designed for them as soon as it becomes available.
This can help you come up with ways to partner up with these providers, entice new virtual employees and significantly improve the engagement and productivity of your remote teams.
More retirees are expected to work as remote casual employees this year.
Baby Boomers are those born from 1946 to 1964.
In the USA, they’re retiring at the rate of approximately 10,000 workers per day.
But the main problem is that around 45% of these American retirees don’t have any significant savings.
So more than half of all retirees in the USA are predicted to use up social welfare resources and benefits to survive.
Though they now have a wider set of options, thanks to remote work, casual off-site job arrangements and ready access to a variety of opportunities in global job markets.
These are accessible work options for them, which can help them earn a living while doing things that interest them and keeps them busy each day.
Your business might be able to benefit from their senior work experience and management knowledge.
So take a closer look at your hiring strategies and management tactics for this year to spot potential areas where you can establish mutually beneficial remote work arrangements with them.
How to Take Advantage of These Top Remote Work Trends?
At this point, your mind is probably full of creative ideas for your business to benefit from these top 16 remote work trends.
But information overload might significantly affect your progress in developing the right strategies and techniques for enhancing your business operations through virtual teams.
So we’ll put things in perspective.
This way, you’ll find it quicker and easier to generate new ideas and develop custom plans for you to prepare and improve your business systems and work pipelines.
And now here’s a list of quick and easy ways for you to benefit from these trends:
Re-invest what you save from your virtual workforce into promising opportunities that can grow and expand your business. This can take your company several steps ahead of your competitors that aren’t doing anything at the moment to benefit from these remote work trends. Just focus on the exact things that can effectively help you achieve these results.
For instance, a tech hardware manufacturer can re-invest their fiscal and non-fiscal savings from their remote work arrangements into developing new solutions for segments of their ideal markets. With the rapid pace of technological development, this can help them keep at pace with the changing needs of their target customers. Plus, they’ll be able to add more income streams from their expanded markets.
On the other hand, digital advertising agencies and social media marketing service providers can do the same thing to offer packages for other groups of businesses. If they’re focusing on companies that need their services for promoting software products and mobile apps, then they can expand to other markets like businesses in the food and beverage industry.
Focus on optimizing your communication and collaboration platforms for your in-house staff and off-site agents. Remember, providing your personnel with convenient ways to communicate and collaborate with each other on a regular basis can significantly improve employee engagement. Now, this can, in turn, increase their overall work productivity.
But this doesn’t just involve giving them the right digital communication tools. Also, providing them with simple to operate collaboration platforms won’t be enough. Moreover, training them on how to use these just won’t be sufficient.
Instead, you should develop and test a communication and collaboration pipeline that’s most suitable for your back and front end operations. Your next step is to optimize your pipelines to be aligned not just to your operations and to the preferences and skills of your staff, but also to the exact tools and platforms that you use.
Build your communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing pipelines with inherent security measures. Blockchain technology and decentralized, distributed Web systems offer formidable defenses against hacker attacks and malicious programs for your knowledge sharing and communication needs. Because of remote work, you’ll be able to contract the services of highly qualified developers at a fraction of the cost of producing these tools and platforms.
You can also integrate 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) into your platforms. You’re advised to do this for your communication, collaboration and data access platforms. This is a process that sends a cryptographically generated code to the registered smartphones or emails of your virtual and in-house staff. This is then hashed and authenticated before they are granted access to your private resources.
Plus, consider providing your virtual workers and in-house staff with the cyber security tools that they need to secure their devices, smartphones, home, and office networks. These include anti-malware software products, VPN (virtual private network) apps, spam filtering programs and so on. Many of the best ones today are premium products. So you’re advised to provide these for them, as some might not want to spend their own money for these applications.
Implement the right company policies. These should be able to make your work pipelines, team building activities, communication and collaboration systems more effective in achieving the results that you want. Remember, some of your main objectives include optimum security against cyber security threats, enhanced employee engagement and collaboration, and increased work productivity.
You should also design these policies in certain ways that can address the usual trust issues among remote workers, in-house personnel and your business. Consider consulting your legal counsel for ensuring that your contracts, policies, and agreement are suited for your organization, industry, and country of operations. You’re also advised to consult legal professionals who specialize in the countries and regions where your virtual workers are based.
Identify new areas and segments of your current target markets with lots of opportunities for virtual workers. This can provide you with ways to include those groups of people with dispensable income in your ideal customers for your latest products and services. You can also take a closer look and decide if developing new offers that are specifically designed for them is likely to benefit your business.
For example, a retail software development firm can expand its target markets to overseas countries with thriving remote worker communities. They can either create solutions that are aimed at what these people need for their work and recreational activities or add new features to their existing products and service offers to make it more enticing for these new segments. They can also localize their solutions for each of these overseas regions.
Meanwhile, office equipment retailers can pitch promotional offers that are targeted at virtual workers who need better deals for their home offices. These can be much smaller tables and fewer chair sets, heaters and air-conditioners among others that can be quite cheaper than those that are designed for company and enterprise use.
Cater to the needs and requirements of businesses that are bound to implement new strategies and tactics for benefiting from these remote work trends. You can tweak your current products and services to include the things that they need to successfully carry out their objectives. Or, you can perform market research and determine if it’s feasible for your business to develop new solutions for expanding to these promising B2B (business to business) markets.
For instance, a workforce training provider can create new service packages that can address the problems of these companies for improving the work efficiency and productivity of their virtual staff. They can also offer premium packages that provide in-house staff with the necessary skills and knowledge for effectively collaborating with remote teams, and vice-versa.
As another example, a real estate development and rental firm can look at possible opportunities for offering co-working spaces to these off-site workers. By identifying the areas that are likely to have larger numbers of remote employees, they’ll be able to expand their operations to promising markets. And by ensuring that they’re offering accommodations and amenities that aren’t available in other co-working spaces, then this can significantly improve the competitiveness of their offers across these markets.
Partner up with providers that offer affiliate arrangements for their solutions that are designed for remote employees. Aside from making it quicker and easier for your virtual staff to find the things that they need at affordable prices, this can also provide your business with additional income streams.
For example, you can sign up as an affiliate of a credible financial institution in the regions where many of your remote workers are based. Just check their terms of services for their affiliate program if they allow employers to earn commissions from referral sales between their virtual workers and the merchant. But keep in mind that many off-site workers are under sub-contractual or freelance agreements, so this is something that many banks, credit institutions, car loan, and home mortgage providers might allow.
On the other hand, you can sign up as an affiliate of online and offline retail shopping platforms with a local presence across the countries where you operate your virtual workforces. And if you provide them with sign-up bonuses for buying the things that they need for their home offices, then you can select the most suitable equipment, tools, and appliances at the most reasonable rates from your merchant partners. You can then recommend these to your remote workers through your affiliate links. This can enable you to earn commissions from each sale that you refer to your merchant partners.
Learn about the newest programs, activities, and services of relevant local and global incubators, tech hubs and government agencies. Focus on those that are in areas where you operate your offices and also where many of your virtual employees are based at the moment. Aside from being able to access grants, seed-stage funding and investment opportunities for your new projects and ventures, which is ideal for start-ups and small businesses, you can also help your virtual teams to build their own businesses that can have sub-contractual partnerships with your company. You can even support them with investments, so you can also benefit from their growth and expansion later on.
For instance, a retail software development company might want to build a remote team of customer support agents for their target non-English markets. They can then find suitable options from incubators and tech hubs or government offices to support this team for building and scaling up a non-English customer support center. They can then invest in the business and recommend their services to other companies that need non-English support services. So aside from ensuring the growth of their provider, this is also an effective way to establish additional income streams and expand to other niches and industries.
Meanwhile, an electronics manufacturer in the USA can build a remote team in another country with local access to much cheaper components and labor resources. Aside from supplying them with the products and services that they need, the manufacturer can access the assistance and services of incubators to help their virtual team build a local small assembly and retail facility. They can then invest in this venture, expand their reach to other niches and profit from these activities as an additional income stream.
So keep these 8 recommendations in mind as you improve your existing systems and develop new custom solutions. These top 16 remote work opportunities can offer promising opportunities for your business.