About 50% of Russians would like to return to their offices rather than continue working remotely after the self-isolation orders are relaxed, according to a survey by the Rabota.ru recruitment website. However, employers might decide otherwise, cutting their office staff to use more online workers or even freelancers.
“Everyone seems to have realized overnight that working remotely is an option. While earlier, I spoke on television and had to explain what freelance is, the etymology of the word – now clients come to me and ask me to arrange it,” says Vasily Voropayev, the founder of SmartBrain, the international provider of outstaffing services.
The expert shared his opinion at a meeting of the Headliners closed-end impact investor club on HR and HRTech: Will there be work during and after lockdown?
Moreover, employers who previously refused to consider telework began to ask him for help in launching such projects, he added. One of them is a large bank, which is exploring the possibility of transitioning its 400 programmers to online employment.
“Even Bank of America is considering keeping part of its programmers working online, and Twitter officially told its staff they can work from home forever,” Vasily Voropayev says.
Business coach Radislav Gandapas, also a member of the Headliners club, agreed that some employees can work outside their offices. He does not rule out that businesses will even start building remote teams in the future.
“Many businesses and entrepreneurs will wrap their minds around the idea that their employees do not absolutely have to be in the office, to occupy space, breathe, use the office water cooler, or walk around. They now have good reason to revise their business models,” he says.
According to Gandapas, this will allow highly efficient employees to combine several jobs, mainly through more efficient use of their time.
“According to some statistics, a middle manager in an office works about two and a half hours on average and spends the rest of the day shuttling to the cooler and back. This suggests one can work for four employers and not be particularly overworked. Doing ten hours a day, making four times as much, everyone happy,” Radislav Gandapas says.