The 2020 job market experienced a historic shift because of the current health crisis, forcing many businesses to implement a remote work setup. Employees either brought their workstations home or bought a workstation of their own to work as a freelancer. More and more people will be working from home in the future, and Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, stated in a Vox article that about 70 percent of the workforce would work for at least five days a month.
Working from home may have started out as a culture shock or a privilege for more well-off workers. It has now become the norm for millennial and Gen Z members. PC sales were at the highest level in 2020 since 2014 as the sales of laptops and desktop computers from brands like Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Apple exceeded 302 million. This doesn’t count PC builders purchasing individual parts and building the systems themselves and people buying used systems from their local used markets. All of this is meant for people to work from home.
A Filipino virtual assistant who’s on a budget can purchase a used PC for about $100 either from the Facebook Marketplace or online stores. Filipino freelancers can also look for cheaper computers for more basic work processes and upgrade down the line.
Work Changed Forever Because of the Pandemic
Work has become flexible because of the pandemic as both workers and businesses adjusted to continue their operations. Working from home can boost employee productivity and improve work/life balance, as long as they stay productive and healthy.
Several forward-thinking employers have already taken several steps to help their remote employees, including reimbursing their employees for their small expenditures like yoga balls to sit on and loaning office equipment to their employees.
Among the benefits that remote workers will benefit from are fewer distractions, more hours to complete deliverables, no commutes, and accommodating work styles.
Remote work also has its own set of disadvantages. Among them are the following:
- Distractions from family members, pets, and/or noisy neighbors
- More difficult collaboration
Possible Hybrid Workplace Culture
Remote work has both advantages and disadvantages depending on where the remote worker is working. If they have an office space at home to focus on their job, it’s possible to work from home. Businesses can implement a hybrid workplace setting where some people work at home while others stay in the office.
A hybrid model gives people the option to choose whether they’ll work at home or work at the office. Everyone has different preferences on where they want to work, and choosing where they work can affect their productivity. Having a hybrid setup also allows the company to open the hiring pool to more people globally.
Implementing a hybrid model is only applicable if the local COVID restrictions have relaxed to allow for on-site work.
More People Choosing Remote Work
While offices won’t go away soon, many people will still want to work from home not only because of the coronavirus pandemic but because they prefer to work from home. Most younger workers want to work at home since they want to have more flexibility in how and where they work.
Even older workers can choose to work at home and learn new skills through online courses like the ones from Udemy. Getting the necessary equipment is relatively cheap, and people can work as long as they have an internet connection.
Working from home is even easier for many people these days because of the relatively low cost of equipment and more accessible online learning materials. In one of our previous articles, we discussed that remote work is the future, and more and more people are actively choosing remote work instead of more traditional settings.
More People Becoming Freelancers
Besides employees wanting to work from home, many people will also want to start freelancing to have more control of their work hours. More than 63% of all freelancers said they chose to work from home in the US and that more people see freelancing as a stable means of earning money.
It is even seen that the majority of workers in the US will be freelancers by 2027, based on the yearly growth rates. The influx of freelancers is also thanks to more and more Gen Z members joining the workforce when the job market has changed.
Among the motivations that people have when freelancing are the following:
- Opinions on freelancing are becoming more positive
- There is more work online
- Want to be their own boss
- Have the freedom to choose when to work
- Have the freedom to decide where to work
- Have the freedom to choose what projects to work on
- Have another job to earn money
Even if people have trouble finding jobs as freelance virtual assistants, they can join a VA company to get employed. Many businesses choose to hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines because of the relatively low labor costs in the country, compared to the higher prices in the US.