Remote Work and COVID-19: Is there a silver lining?

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

The coronavirus era has sure given most of us a taste of working from home. With regulations enforcing social distancing and some getting quarantined, remote work seems the only viable alternative. In this case, we are forced to work remotely. Still, could there be a silver lining?

There’s a shift in organizations

“The option to work from home when needed, or to try a different lifestyle without having to change jobs, is a win for everyone.” -Scott Berkun

It’s real, most organizations are forced to adopt working from home. It’s a test and a blessing at the same time. Many, especially in our African context, have always opposed the idea of working from home. But today, we have to be realistic and keep the work going.

But the shift extends beyond organizational culture. With some organizations having noticed some advantages like reduction of costs, it looks like going forward, working remotely might be an alternative. Or even minimizing costs on travel to international meetings; this could be a big win.

Most importantly, the big shift is in how we all embrace remote work. And looking back, when the dust has settled, we will see that it’s imperative we incorporate remote working if we haven’t done so. Also, take advantage of the many benefits that remote work presents.

Increase in remote work experience

For some of us it could have not been possible had everything been normal. This means we all get to experience what it’s like to work remotely. Even better, we’re getting to experience how to execute our tasks differently, work with our teams remotely, communicate with clients while all at the same time delivering results.

“Successfully working from home is a skill, just like programming, designing or writing. It takes time and commitment to develop that skill, and the traditional office culture doesn’t give us any reason to do that.” -Alex Turnbull, Founder and CEO of Groove

On the other hand, we’re bringing a new feel to our homes. Getting more comfortable with our work spaces. Ensuring we minimize distractions and getting more control on our time. We’re basically adding another dimension, which is here to stay.

Remember earlier when I said we’re forced to work remotely? This is because we don’t get to enjoy the full experience of it. Our cities are on lock-down and we can’t even move. Remote work isn’t just being confined to your home, you might want to go work from a local restaurant over a cup of coffee. Or even travel.

Exposure to productivity and remote work tools

With the generic remote work experience comes exposure of the tools essential for remote work. The jobs of the future will demand a know-how of most of the new productivity tools coming into the market.

The truth is, the technology of most organizations is getting tested. This is a great time for your team to create a Slack channel if you don’t have one. I’ve previously shared in detail on my blog post – 5 Critical Skills You Need for Remote Work – on how we can all keep up with the latest tech tools.

“Remember to enjoy the freedom of being able to work from anywhere and the flexibility to adapt your work to your life rather than the other way around.” -Alex Muench, Product Designer at Doist