Due to the health crisis, remote work will become unavoidable. And the freelancers will be in the spotlight. A real mutation.
The way of working is changing. Due to the spread of COVID-19, remote work, that could have been a choice for some employees, is now becoming an obligation for others. The situation is without precedent. Very few organizations consider themselves ready for remote work on a large scale. Also, very few consider using freelancers more often to pursue their projects. But will they still have a choice?
“Whether we want it or not, we are obliged to participate to the greatest experience of remote work in the world.”, says Laurent-Philippe Ham, CEO, Beelance. Unlike homeworking that allows employees to work from one specific place (usually home) from time to time, remote work allows everybody to work in a nomadic way, every day and from anywhere. And in the current crisis, that ability will make the difference.
With the pandemic, the perception of remote work changes
“The concept of remote work hasn’t really imposed itself yet. In the collective imagination, this kind of work organization doesn’t make sense. For some managers, it is an absurdity: indeed, how do you keep control of your teams in this context?” The question makes sense. Or rather, it did make sense. The COVID-19 is going to change the rules.
“Through our market knowledge, based on the Beelance platform, only 11% of the companies were in favor until recently. Today, 23% are. With this pandemic, I expect a radical change of perspective…”
An express survey from Gartner made in the beginning of March confirms the trend: 91% of HR managers confirm having implemented remote work tools since the beginning of the outbreak. What has been confirmed mainly in Asia and in the Pacific zone will affect Europe in the same way, currently being the second source of the COVID-19.
For Laurent-Philippe Ham, we are going through an unseen situation. “It’s not only about thinking in terms of business continuity, but of continuity for the community. And consequently to try to answer to a more fundamental question: what is necessary for the community?”
The current crisis will change the trend
Whether remote work initiatives are routine work or urgent, trust is the basis of their success, insisted Gartner in a recent article on their blog. “The success of remote work depends strongly on the trust you give.”, says Aaron McEwan, Vice-President, Gartner.
Today, 76% of HR managers still worry about the lack of visibility on the workflows and their direct subordinates’ routines when they are remote working, estimated Gartner in their express survey.
“The current crisis will change the trend. We are living a health crisis unseen to this day, and so a trust crisis unseen as well. If we want to move on, the time has come to trust each other”, says Laurent-Philippe Ham. And that is where freelancers have a role to play. In that sense, the COVID-19 will have a catalytic role, he predicts.
The value is not the economy anymore, but exchanging skills
Obviously, all tasks can not be executed by remote working. But a lot can. It is obvious as well that companies don’t have the choice anymore. Already before this health crisis would change our way of working, it had become difficult for companies to attract talents. In fact, it’s not the companies who attract talents anymore, but the talents who choose them… after having chosen their status. And today, many prefer to become freelancers.
“The value is not the economy anymore, but exchanging skills. Companies who understand this will succeed, says Laurent-Philippe Ham. The crisis we are going through will only accelerate the trend.”
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