Remote Work (WFH) Tech Landscape
One of the biggest workforce paradigm shifts ever
Before March 2020 many of us knew someone who was working remote or has heard of companies that even went “full remote” i.e. they did not have an office and all their employees worked from home, but I would say that they were considered an exception to the common rule of “physical-only” office work. Fast forward to today and ~500M people have been catapulted into full remote set-ups.
To visualize the magnitude of this sudden change, data on Zoom usage could help:
This is potentially one of the biggest and quickest paradigm shifts in the history of the global workforce and while many will return to their physical offices, I think it´s safe to assume that some won´t. This got me thinking and in the past weeks, I tried to make sense of the ever-growing tech enablers of the remote work economy. While there are a number of great tools lists for remote work and future of work out there (CB Insights, Lightspeed, The Family and I am sure more) in this post I am attempting to do 2 specific things:
- provide a way to interpret the market and spot areas/ problems not yet solved
- try to understand if and for which companies remote work has potentially a positive ROI
Trying to make sense of a new, fast-moving and already complex market
To make sense of the remote work tools landscape, I stripped “remote work” to its essence -> there is no physical office any more (or there is one where only very few employees go). This has 3 main, immediate implications:
- employees/managers cannot physically see and talk to each other
- suppliers, customers, guests cannot be hosted or greeted in-person
- employees do not need to reside near a company’s office and therefore companies can now employ people from anywhere in the world (provided they have access to the internet)
Note that I make an arbitrary distinction between “future of work” and “remote work” where future of work is a broader space including remote work and other segments such as collaboration tools, email tools, virtual assistant, calendar tools etc.