Though the arrival of a novel virus isnâ€™t the best circumstance for a company to be forced into remote work, Caplan does hope there will be an even bigger shift toward this type of professional option, because the â€œcat is out of the bag.â€
â€œCoronavirus is going to expose more people to working remotely than ever,â€ he says. â€œMost people will see that it is very possible and start to grow accustomed to the benefits of [remote work], including autonomy, no commute, and less distractions than open offices. Companies that donâ€™t allow remote work already are going to have to continue supporting it going forward, now that they have proven to themselves that it works.â€
After COVID-19 passes and businesses try to return to normal, there is a real possibility that professionals may change their tune on what matters most to them. Thatâ€™s already the case for many, according to research from the International Workplace Group. Their March 2019 findings showed that 80% of job seekers would choose a job with a flexible work-from-home policy over one that doesnâ€™t offer the same benefit.
The ability to grow a company without a lease is becoming more and more attractive. Also productivity may be more focussed on outputs instead of just presence behind a desk, or clocking time by working late in an office.
See Weâ€™re in the midst of a massive work-from-home experiment. What if it works?
While much of the news is scary, Iâ€™ve found a silver thread of hope in this pandemic: What if this is our chance to prove remote work, well, works?