The Coronavirus pandemic could result in the permanent move to remote working for many people as companies are forced to encourage home working to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 virus. After being forced to set up a home office and get used to using cloud remote working tools, employees will be reluctant to return to commuting to the office 5 days a week and asking if they need to do this. This might be an opportunity for huge change in the way we work.
The large technology firms were some of the first to move to remote working for all of their employees: Microsoft, LinkedIn, Amazon and Google all advised employees to stop coming into the office in late February.
The sudden move to home working has presented opportunities for tech startups such as: Slack (an instant messaging platform); Zoom (a video and web conferencing cloud app); Trello (project management software) and Flock (a team collaboration tool), as well as for tech giants like Microsoft and Google.
The increase in home working in the UK together with the closure of schools on Friday 20th March will also present problems. According to a report from Bloomberg News, usage of Italy’s national network has surged by more than two-thirds, not due to employees working from home, but due to housebound schoolchildren logging on to games such as Fortnite.
Richard Wheeler Associates is experienced in recruiting for remote IT positions. Some of these are 100% remote working, sometimes with staff based in a different country, but more often we find that our clients recruit for part-week home workers – developers who prefer a mixture of home working and face-to-face contact. This may be the balance that works for business and employees in a post Covid-19 world.