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We'll all agree that 2020 has been a weird year. Many people have debated a work from home approach, or even a nomadic lifestyle prior to this pandemic but who would have ever thought it would be forced upon us. With strict government regulations in place in most countries as well as travel bans we've been forced to adapt the way we do business.
Working from Home Stats 2020 Before and After the Spread of COVID-19
Let’s take a look remote workforce statistics before and after COVID-19 pandemic was declared to understand how the novel coronavirus has affected the workforce and a better estimate of remote working growth:
An analysis of the data issued by the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 4.7 million people, which make about 3.4% of the US workforce, were already working remotely before the novel coronavirus took the world by storm. This was up by 1% or 0.8 million from 2015.
A global survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. found that 88% of businesses all over the world mandated or encouraged all their employees to work from home as the virus started to spread at exponential rates. Furthermore, about 97% of the organizations immediately cancelled all work-related travel.
Remote Workers Statistics
To start, we will look at the big one, which is the number of people already working remotely. This will help shed light on whether this is only a niche form of employment or whether it’s happening on a larger scale.
Although at first glance, this seems like a lot, it isn’t really the case. Let’s flip the number on its head. This means that more than half of the companies around the world do offer telecommuting opportunities. That’s a whopping 56%.
We’ll dive into the reasons for this, later on, so stick around. But before we get to those, we need to discuss a few more things like:
In total, more people work from home at least occasionally than those who don’t at all.
Generally, this will look different for different companies and roles. For some, it might mean working overtime on weekends or at night. In other cases, remote work might be a part of the weekly routine.
Now we can move on from the general to the specific.
Did you know that 3.9 million employees in the U.S. spend most of their days working away from the office?
Many people and businesses seem to be under the impression that remote work is still something out of the ordinary. Or they assume that it’s only for digital nomads and millennials. But as you can see, that is simply not true.
Is digital nomadism or just working from home the future of work?
There are two powerful forces that shape the future of work: technology and people who can be as efficient off-site as they are on-site.
Technology is replacing jobs but at the same time, it’s creating new jobs. The simplest example is task automation. By relying on technology people are able to accomplish more, hence one-man businesses are popping up every day. Additionally, technology creates millions of jobs that cater to the technology sector. Developers, web designers, digital marketers and a virtual sales force are some of the most prominent examples of such jobs.
People are changing the way we work the same way technology does. Thanks to early adopters the working environment and expectations are becoming more aligned with people’s innate desires and needs.
Now combine the two trends: technology and the demand for a flexible workplace and you’ll get a breeding ground for a completely new lifestyle, that is more effective due to technology and more enjoyable due to flexibility. The advent of digital nomads is a response to overarching workforce trends.
Are all of us now digital nomads?
There are numerous definitions of the term “digital nomad”. Until recently digital nomads were defined as people who leverage work as a way to travel. This term isn’t entirely correct, as it implies that travel is the priority for digital nomads. But it’s really not that simple. There are different types of digital nomads. Here are just some of them:
Business owners who run startups
Employers who work remotely (that includes most of us for now)
Freelancers and self-employed creatives
Each type of digital nomad pursues their own goals. These goals are travel goals as well as work goals. Some people have more degree of freedom and can jump from one country to another every three days, others are less fortunate or they care more about the business, so they require some sort of a home base. Ultimately, digital nomads are people who embrace remote work and use technology to actualize themselves or make a living.
What are the benefits of being a digital nomad?
Digital nomads are motivated by a range of goals and motivations. Here are some of them:
The number one motivation that drives digital nomad is the desire to be free. Digital nomad’s path presents an easy way to escape the pressures of business regulations and social conditioning. Everyone dream of being able to do almost anything they want. Digital nomads have almost unlimited freedom of choice when it comes to countries they want to settle in, lifestyle options, money they want to spend, people they surround themselves with, and the ways they build their lives.
The degree of freedom varies greatly. The remote workers are likely to be tied to certain day hours, while business owners are free to choose when they want to go online.
Travel is another reason why people choose to become digital nomads. Being a digital nomad is an incredibly rewarding lifestyle choice that allows you to explore many countries and cultures. You can spend a month in the bustling city of Chiang Mai, then move to tropical beaches of Bali, and then fly to the concrete jungle such as New York.
Maybe not as often mentioned there are patterns of semigration globally as employees move to smaller country towns and holiday hamlets. These are generally more affordable to live in and often offers a bit more of a laid back lifestyle.
Because they can make money wherever they are, digital nomads aren’t restricted in the choice of a country they want to live in. They use travel as an opportunity to see amazing sights, experience new things, and get inspired by cultures and people. They also can fully immerse themselves in culture, making the travel experience inherently richer and more satisfying. Couple that with the opportunity to give and share their own culture with the locals, and you’ll understand why travel is so high on the digital nomads’ priorities list.
Digital nomad’s life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Some people simply look at the digital nomad lifestyle as a way to reduce expenses. It’s simply a smarter financial set up where you earn a lot more than you have to spend. For the monthly budget, you spend on rent and basic necessities in the US you can get a much better deal in the less developed countries and not to mention the smaller town in the country.
Same goes for running a business. With due research, you can open a business in a country that has a more convenient tax system and lower taxes. Trying to reduce expenses is certainly not the main motivation for most digital nomads as these people are usually driven enough to succeed financially, but nevertheless, it’s one of the reasons many consider digital nomad lifestyle.
4. Meeting new people and making connections
A lot of digital nomads use travel as a way to meet new people. After all, it’s hard to meet someone new when you’re out of college and go to the same office every day. As a digital nomad, you are presented with many opportunities for interesting encounters and also there is a greater variety of people you can meet.
People are wired to seek social interaction. But when you are surrounded by the comfort of your usual social circle, you’re reluctant to make new connections. Digital nomadism forces you out of this restricting mindset by thrusting new exciting acquaintances into you. Having a community of like-minded people is crucial to a business's success. Similarly, if you’re a creative freelancer then seeking feedback and exchanging ideas are the keys to truly groundbreaking projects. Digital nomads encounter a wider variety of people on a daily basis, so it's easier for them to find their tribe.
5. Learning and growing
Travel is a great way to acquire new knowledge. Add the training you get at work and you get a highly nutritious cocktail bound to expand your brain. Many digital nomads are on the nomadic journey to grow professionally and personally. Remote work skills are incredibly important these days. The skills to work and motivate yourself whenever and wherever you are will make you relevant as an employee for many years to come.
The mere fact that you have to navigate a new country, learn the basics of the language, establish a routine all the while performing your best at work is a great personal development experience. But you’re also growing professionally as you’re able to acquire knowledge from the best people using technology and travelling to places where high-level people do business.
Cloud CRM and how it works for remote workers
With employees scattered across the globe and working remotely, businesses have to find ways to operate smarter. Cloud-based business solutions can assist with that need.
CRM specifically is an essential tool to ensure that the ball does not get dropped when it comes to customer engagement. With a new year ahead of us we know that it will be a challenge. It will be crucial to remain focussed on the parts of your business that brings in money. In most cases this means clients.
Customer Relationship Management software allows you to keep customer contact details up to date, track every customer interaction, and manage customer accounts. It is designed to help businesses improve customer relationships and also Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). This is vital because of the vast amount of such data businesses generate daily.
How does Cloud CRM help businesses?
For business owners, CRM systems can assist with sales forecasting and sales pipeline management which allows you to scale your business more effectively. It also tracks sales team performance that can be gamified to make sales more exciting and goal-driven.
Ultimately a customer relationship management system aims to address challenges posed by remote working. It takes customer data and turns it into useful, actionable insight that can transform a business. It helps everyone in a business to easily update records and to get access to the latest information. If the system is cloud-based, they can do this wherever they are, on any connected device.