The rapid shift to working from home that took place in early 2020 as a pandemic response might have changed work for good. Remote work is going well enough for many companies that it’s likely to be around forever for many former office workers.
A few key data points illustrate how working from home suddenly became not just normal but preferred among both employers and employees.
They also show why it’s so essential for accounting firms and small businesses to give their employees secure, easy access to critical business applications from anywhere by running in the cloud.
The cloud was already a priority before pandemic-related shutdowns
In 2019, before COVID, cloud spending accounted for 15 percent of all IT spending, up from 7 percent in 2015. ¹
COVID got the work-at-home ball rolling, and it isn’t stopping
From March 1 to May 23, 2020, LinkedIn noted a 60 percent rise in the volume of users searching specifically for work-at-home jobs. ²
More than two-thirds of workers (68 percent) would like to keep working from home in the future, with an even higher number (70 percent) reporting that they can be as productive at home as they are in the office. ³
At the outset of the pandemic, 63 percent of chief finance officers were concerned about losing productivity to remote work. As of July, only 26 percent were still worried about it. ⁴
Experts say working from home is here to stay and will have wide-ranging effects
A Harvard Business School survey by economists projects that one in six workers will continue working from home or working remotely at least two days a week even after the pandemic ends.
Another survey by freelance platform Upwork of hiring managers revealed that 20 percent of the workforce could be remote after COVID-based restrictions end. And those numbers represent the entire workforce, not limited to office workers. ⁵
What does all of this mean for CPA firms and small businesses?
Perhaps above and beyond everything else, if working from home is now the rule instead of the exception, firms and businesses have to offer an optimal environment for remote work if they expect to recruit and retain employees.
A critical part of creating that environment is providing secure, easy access to critical business applications from any location with an internet connection. And the best way to ensure that access is to run critical applications, including QuickBooks Desktop, in the cloud.
As working from home takes over as the dominant form of work, the cloud will take over as the dominant way for employees to access the tools they need every day.
¹ Morgan Stanley, via Financial Times, Cloud business reaps rewards of the work-from-home revolution, July 18, 2020
² LinkedIn, via Financial Times, How is the virtual recruiting experiment going?, July 15, 2020
³ Skillcast, via Financial Times, How is the virtual recruiting experiment going?, July 15, 2020
⁴ PwC, via Financial Times, How is the virtual recruiting experiment going?, July 15, 2020
⁵ The Atlantic, The Workforce Is about to Change Dramatically, August 6, 2020