It’s possible that COVID-19 will change how we work. As companies encourage employees to move to remote working environments, entire countries are being placed on lockdown and markets are becoming more volatile. The future may seem bleak right now, but there is still hope.
In 1665, Cambridge University closed because of the plague. Issac Newton quarantined himself at his childhood home. It was the most productive time of his life. He discovered what we now call calculus and the laws of motion. We can only guess on the extent of great discoveries, ideas, and innovations that could arise from this ongoing crisis.
GitLab surveyed 3,000 professionals who work remotely or have the option to work remotely across various industries, roles, and geographic locations, creating a platform for understanding how remote is changing society and how individuals interact with their vocation. There are several key takeaways we can draw from this.
All-remote is surging
43% of remote workers feel that it is important to work for a company where all employees are remote. Currently, more than 1 in 4 respondents belong to an all-remote organization, with no offices, embracing asynchronous workflows as each employee works in their native time zone.
Everyone can contribute
The real power of remote teams is unleashed when everyone is empowered to move the organization forward. 56% of remote workers said that everyone in their company could contribute to process, values, and company direction, with 50% also defaulting to shared documents and relying on meetings only as a last resort.
Debunking remote work myths
Remote workers aren’t all traveling nomads. Findings showed 38% saw lack of commute as a top benefit, with that time instead spent with family, working, resting, and exercising. 52% of employees find themselves to be more productive overall.
Accessibility and opportunity to grow your career as a parent
The benefits of working remotely have enabled employees to focus on their families without having to give up their careers. 34% percent found the ability to care for the family a top benefit of remote work, in addition to 53% citing schedule flexibility and 38% saying lack of commute.
Remote work levels the playing field
14% of remote workers surveyed have a disability or chronic illness. 83% of those workers were able to work because of remote work. Remote work levels the playing field: it fosters a better sense of work/life harmony and creates an opportunity for everyone to contribute in the workplace.
Remote is becoming second nature
Nearly 90% of those surveyed are satisfied with existing tools and processes that enable remote team communications and feels that their leadership team provides autonomy while working remotely.
Remote is here to stay
86% of respondents believe remote work is the future. But it’s also the present, as evidenced by 84% of those surveyed saying that they are able to accomplish all of their tasks remotely right now.
Remote is the ultimate hiring advantage
62% of respondents said that they would consider leaving a co-located company for a remote role. Why? Everyone values remote benefits differently – from reduced anxiety to improved health to reduced office politics. Said another way, the freedom of remote universally matters for a remarkably diverse array of reasons.
The work from anywhere opportunity
47% said that managing at-home distractions were a top challenge. It’s time to phase out the phrase “work from home”, empowering team members to work from anywhere that they’re optimally productive. Reimbursing for co-working spaces and external offices is a good place to start.
All the feels
Nearly half of those surveyed consider themselves lucky to work remotely with practical, valued, smart, and proud rounding out the top 5. Fewer than 10% associated with the terms alone, tired, and misunderstood.
Remote ≠ Alone
When in-person interactions are intentional, as is the case in a remote setting, they matter more. 82% of remote workers say their company supports in-person gatherings through events, summits, meet-ups, and more. Meanwhile, 66% are already connected to remote work communities.