Remote work is no longer a privilege. It’s become the standard operating mode for at least 50% of the U.S. population. Virtual retreats are no longer attributed solely to progressive startups. Traditional employers are finally on-board and ready to propose a flexible work arrangement higher up the pipeline.

Remote work is no longer a privilege. It’s become the standard operating mode for at least 50% of the U.S. population. Virtual retreats are no longer attributed solely to progressive startups. Traditional employers are finally on-board and ready to propose a flexible work arrangement higher up the pipeline.

2019 will further reinforce the current global shift towards “remote-friendly” workplaces and dictate a few more unique trends.

1. Employer expectations of digital skills are shifting from basic to advance

The demand for technology-savvy professionals now extends well beyond the software development space. According to fresh data from LinkedIn, general tech skills – web design, social media management and so on – are among the fastest growing in-demand skills. Whereas basic digital literacy – fluency with email software tools and word processing software – witnessed the fastest decline compared to other skill groups. Companies now expect employees to be more comfortable with all sorts of digital tools, even for entry-level positions and more so for remote employees. So if you are just considering the transition, make sure that your technical skill set is up-to-date and you know how to run a virtual office.

 

2. “In-the-office” days may become more popular

No, it’s not because more employers want to micromanage their remote teams. Quite on the contrary, employers are finally starting to address the mental health factor more seriously. The biggest reported struggle of remote work is lack of community - 21% of remote workers named “loneliness” as one of their main on-the-job issues.

To address this, companies are now encouraging remote members to come back to the office at least once per week. And this strategy gives results – Gallup poll estimated that the “visiting” employees tend to be more engaged and fulfilled when compared to their 100% remote or full-office counterparts. Such members are more likely to have friendships at work and state that their job includes opportunities to learn and grow.

Abdullahi Muhammed