56% of jobs are compatible with remote conditions, yet only about 4% of employees work from home more than half-time.
We of course know what is changing ALL of that.
The new normal holds new and exciting opportunities for working from home for everyone. Everything from reducing pollution and commuting expenses to improving quality of life for all workers is just on the horizon.
At the very least, we’ll all get an extra hour of sleep!
In this article, we’ll take a look at remote work in 2021 including predictions from experts, our own company processes, and some cool apps and websites to help you adjust.
The world will return to normal one day, and we think brighter days will be here before you know it. But one thing is for certain: Work never will.
Setting the Scene: Why Will Working From Home Become More Popular in 2021?
Without sounding too obvious, we want to start off by saying working from home in 2021 is going to explode due to experience we’ve gained from Corona.
The greatest remote work experiment in our history is currently taking place, and everything we’re learning – from adjusting to new technologies to learning new techniques for educating children – is going to profoundly affect the nature of work going forward.
Here are the main forces that’ll drive the work-from-home surge in 2021:
- Increased demand from employees: Statistics show that around 80% of employees would take a pay cut in order to work from home more. Now that they’ve experienced it, more and more employees will demand remote work conditions in their contracts.
- Decreased fear from managers: Before Corona, the majority of managers in established companies were reluctant to offer work at home conditions for a number of reasons. Most managers simply don’t trust employees to work unsupervised. Now, they see that it actually can work.
- Increased governmental and corporate pressure: Working from home significantly decreases pollution AND corporate overhead costs. Now that we are more aware of these things, pressure will come from cost-crunching brass at corporations and from governments trying to cut greenhouse gasses.
So What Trends Can We Expect for Work in 2021?
Here’s what the general consensus is at this point:
Schedules Are Going to get WAY More Flexible
Even when a vaccine is available, companies will want to reduce the number of employees in the office at the same time.
Makes sense, right?
The easiest solution is to allow the top performing remote workers to work from home several days per week or more, while requiring the lower-performing ones to report for duty as normal.
This prediction was put forth by the Heritage Foundation, a government policy think tank that specializes in labor policy.
Hello, Home Office!
Major companies like Google have already decided to keep employees at home until at least the summer of 2021.
But that’s just the beginning. Home office use and everything related to it – furniture, software, productivity techniques – will explode in 2021.
As it stands, 88% of companies made it mandatory to work from home at the start of the pandemic.
Most people in the know, including Soda PDF!, expect that trend to maintain. Here’s just a few companies that plan to keep their people working at home. Maybe you’ve heard of some of these names:
The Hospitality and Restaurant Industries Will Suffer
People won’t ever stop ordering takeout, but some experts believe that the more time we spend at home the less we’ll spend on travel, leisure, and entertainment.
At the very least, working from home provides more time to cook our own food. You know, instead of rushing to Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and bagel in the morning and then down to Chipotle for a quick burrito.
Also, with less business travel comes less spending on hospitality like hotels or entertainment like bars.
Productivity and Perhaps Earnings Will Increase
Contrary to every manager’s fears, productivity actually increases when working remotely, at least according to several studies.
First, 77% of employees reported being more productive when working from home. Of course, that should be taken with a grain of salt coming from people who want to sleep in more often.
But that’s not the only study that confirms this trend. According to Forbes, two-thirds of managers reported MORE productivity from their work-at-home employees.
Employee Health Will Improve (And Costs Will Decrease)
2021 will be the first year that companies are hyper-focused on employee health. Now that we all realize the damage that germs can do, things will change drastically.
First, employees won’t be allowed to come in when sick. According to one survey, 84% of employees say they go into work even when sick. That won’t happen anymore.
This not only saves lives, it saves money for companies. One report shows that the companies pay an average of $13,000 in health costs for each worker as of 2019.
Working from home could change all of that. Not only will more employees become freelancers in the new “gig economy”, they’ll get sick less often if they are around fewer people.
Employees Will Work at Home, And That Home Will be in a New City
Fears of human contact with Corona zombies is forcing traditional urbanites to flee en masse to safer, more spaced out areas far from the urban core. In fact, America’s 3 largest metro areas – New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago – are shrinking by the minute.
Fannie Mae’s Chief economist – Doug Dougan – expects home sales to increase at least a few percentage points, and for many people to purchase new homes not just for the home office space but for the safety away from the inner city.
New awareness of the dangers of contact with the infected masses will decrease the size of cities and lead to new work hubs on the peripheries. The micro economies that spring up to serve these new areas – coworking space, cafes, freelancing accountants, etc. – are going to be fascinating!
Closing Thoughts – And Some Cool Apps to Help You Work From Home
Work – and the entire world – will never be the same. Traditional offices, and the microeconomics that support them, are going to decrease in dominance precipitously.
Remote work will explode, increasing productivity, improving quality of life, and drastically reducing pollution.
Coronavirus has wrought havoc on society, but just like every other tragedy, it will leave the world a better place than it found it.
In closing, here are some cool apps to help you stay productive and happy while working from home!
We’re sure you already know, but Zoom is the best group chat app for work out there right now.
Technically, Zoom was, by far, the most-used app in 2020 so you’re thinking: why did this make the list? Well, we think that Zoom will still be prevalent in in 2021, at least for the time being.
Furthermore, Zoom continues to prove that it is still the best group chat app for work or for keeping a safe distance between people. It’s so easy to use that all you need to do is simply drop a link and any of your friends, family, or colleagues can join in for a group Zoom.
But we’re sure that in 2021, you already know Zoom quite well. How about these other helpful apps though?
This is a productivity GOD SEND. 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off. It’s just enough for you to get some deep work done but not so much that your brain burns out.
And it keeps you fresh throughout the day by not overextending your mind for hours on end.
Staying productive is the #1 challenge for all remote works. Not anymore thanks to Tomato Timer! Simply set your break time, unwind, then get back to work feeling refreshed and ready to accomplish any task!
World Time Buddy
Automatically synch your clock with anyone in the world to easily plan meetings and NEVER miss a deadline.
By far the best note-taking, planning, and work efficiency app out there. Hands (and pencils and pens) down!
Almost everyone in our office uses it. Quickly and easily plan your day, prioritize tasks, and track key statistics for staying productive while working from home.
Snagit lets you quickly share your screen with anyone in your team.
It’s the best screen capture and recording software for 2021. If you haven’t tried Snagit, you’re probably missing out on the easiest and simplest way to share your screen in 2021.
That way, your team never has the “nobody showed me how to do it” excuse. It’s the next best thing to actually going into their office and looking over their shoulder.
News Feed Eradicator
Stop wasting time on Facebook by mindlessly scrolling fake news and animal pics.
News Feed Eradicator doesn’t block Facebook – you can still use Messenger – but it does prevent you from seeing your newsfeed!
When you log in, you’ll see a blank page in the middle and only Messenger on the side. For anyone who spends entirely too much time on Facebook, this is a productivity hack that’ll make you and your boss happy.
Whether you’re working from home or in need of a software solution to help you manage your documents smarter and more efficiently, Soda PDF is the answer.
Soda PDF can easily help you push any document forward by editing text, adding or removing pages, converting to and from the portable document format, e-signing contracts or invoices, and much more!