Tech companies develop programs that make it easier to work remotely, but they themselves are office-oriented. They set up canteens, gyms, game rooms and showers, pay for buses to the nearest subway station, and offer free lunches – all so you don’t want to go home. But the biggest employers in IT – Facebook, Google and Twitter – have suggested their employees to switch to remote work.
Today’s jobs are associated with daily commutes to the office. Our cities and roads are built with the idea that hundreds of thousands of people move from bedroom communities to the business centers and back every day. Millions of people move to the capitals every year: a hundred years ago they were looking for happiness in factories, today – in IT companies and various startups.
For this they are willing to pay rent, which in Kiev is about 10 thousand hryvnias, and in Silicon Valley, about 3 thousand dollars for a one-room apartment. For this money in a small town, you can rent a whole house.
The quarantine showed that remote work is no less effective. At the same time Mark Zuckerberg added that half of the more than 48 thousand employees will be shifted to work remotely permanently in the next 10 years. According to him, this is an inevitable trend.
Twitter Inc. and the payment system Square, which have one owner, have done something even more radical: they offered to leave office immediately everyone who wants to work remotely. Ukrainian IT-companies are doing the same.
This is good for business: you can save on rent, utilities, tea and coffee. In addition, if people can work from anywhere in the world, then the talent can be found anywhere. There is no point in hiring only those who live in the same city, if you can find a more qualified and cheaper specialist in a small town or another country.
This is beneficial for workers: you can sleep longer, spend less time on smoke breaks, start tasks in your underwear, and also go on a trip or move from an expensive area to where it is easier to rent or buy your own home.
However, this raises a number of questions for companies. For example, should compensation be based on the cost of living in the city? Will “remote workers” have the same career opportunities as their peers?
How do you control that a person actually devotes eight hours a day to their tasks? And is it worth controlling if one can focus on the outcome, as freelancers do? Most companies don’t have the answers to these questions yet.
The IT-business reacts to any challenges faster than traditional fields. In the next decade, remote work will replace many office jobs. Perhaps this will lead to the outflow of qualified employees from big cities, save the travel industry, which has been undermined by quarantine, and contribute to the development of outsourcing.