Pandemic has brought remote work into the spotlight. However, that is not to say that remote work itself is a whole new thing.

As long as the work is done on the internet, it can be done anywhere. We can save the cost of going to the office.

Nor is this a recent increasing number of companies that have found themselves under these circumstances. The corporation’s default was to be on-site and have an office. They didn’t have to be remote because there was no inconvenience in not being remote. Then an event occurred that forced the corporation to move to be remote.

The working remote population has increased. But the concept of remote work itself should be redefined again.

Individual to Corporation

For example, remote work and freelancing were often combined before COVID-19. Unless there was a reason why this should not be, the corporation would not allow you to work remotely. So in order to work remotely, the most efficient way was to leave the corporation and work under your own personal control.

Becoming a freelancer is not easy. You have to have the skills, and you must have the sales skills to sell yourself properly. There are a lot of advantages, but there are also many patterns of freelancing but returning to the corporation because of the unstable income and other hassle of the process.

The remote work world, where you have to freelance, was made up of a limited few people. And what increased at COVID-19 were not freelancers, but remote workers by corporations.

Remote work by corporations was also a minority. Buffer, a social management software provider, is one of the leading examples of this; they started hiring remotely in 2011 and started running their business fully remotely in 2015.

And this 2020, nearly every software company is going to be Buffer-ified. In order for corporations to work remotely, teams must have systems in place to facilitate communication and share documents, and the group of corporations offering these systems is generally growing.

The trade-off between wanting to work in a team but freelancing because you wanted to work remotely has been eliminated, and the result is that there is now one more option for how you work. This doesn’t mean that the flow of freelancers will diminish. More and more companies are likely to change their minds about hiring regular employees and promote freelancers because of remote work.

Redefine The Digital Nomad

After remote work and freelancing, the digital nomad was the next on the list. The term “digital nomad”, from which the word “nomad” is derived from “nomadic”, means “nomadic”, and these people lived their lives while moving from place to place around the world. Nomad List has more than 10,000 members.

From a digital nomad’s point of view, the impact of COVID-19 has been largely distressing. First, it has made it impossible to travel easily around the world. At the early COVID-19, there were more and more areas with restricted borders, and there were even restrictions on going outside the cities, let alone moving between them.

In recent months, there has been a gradual increase in the number of people moving around under the circumstances where COVID-19 control measures have been implemented. There has been a growing interest in underdeveloped areas characterized by 1) an increased risk of infection in densely populated areas, and 2) the fact that the inability to move makes it less worth paying high rents in urban areas. In the United States, this would be around Denver or Dallas.

Anyplace, which provides monthly housing, has also focused on this area, and has succeeded in reaching out to people who are trying to move to underpopulated areas. In the future, we’ll see more and more cases of digital nomads moving from cities to rural areas.

WFH > Coworking Space

Coworking spaces have been growing in number so far as remote working has become more popular. COVID-19 has made it possible to avoid dense areas, and coworking spaces are not exempt from this.

If you can’t go to the office and coworking spaces don’t work, there’s only one place to work. Yes, home - Work from Home will undoubtedly be a trending word for 2020.

Zero minutes of time to commute. All this sounds great to hear, working from home is definitely great, but there are many barriers to it if it lasts long enough. Specifically, they include the following:

  • Blurred between the private and business. It’s hard to find the right time to switch it up, and you may find that hours have passed since you first realized how long you've been out of breath.
  • Hard to concentrate. Unlike the office, I wasn’t prepared to work. Having kids can be a bit of a distraction.
  • Can’t meet new people. If you go to a coworking space, you accidentally make friends with its users, but this doesn’t occur at home.

The first two could be remedied by setting rules for working at home and using tools to set up habits. But as long as we are at home, we can’t expect new connections to inevitably be made. This will become an even more serious problem in the future.

Lack of Serendipity

Won’t have an opportunity to meet new people. In fact, have you met any new people since COVID-19? The answer to this question will surely be divided into those who answer “Yes” and those who answer “No”. However, I’m sure that there are very few people who have met new people “face to face” since COVID-19. But I’m sure there are very few new people I’ve met “in person”.

Even after Facebook and Reddit, where connections with people through the Internet became more general, the opportunities for real-life interaction have occurred just as much as ever. It’s a little hard to put into words, but there was definitely an element of coincidence and a way to build trust that was unique to the real world.

When I look around at the people around me, I wonder how many people I connected without real-life experience. In real-life, there was “Serendipity”.s The fact that we happened to meet each other was a good thing. But it was difficult to express this on the internet alone.

Synchronous Space

There is a way to make “Serendipity” on the Internet too. It’s a synchronous space. The preferred way of interaction on the Internet so far has been overwhelmingly asynchronous; Reddit comments on (past) posts that someone has posted, and even Twitter, which is supposed to be highly real-time, can’t compete with true real-time.

Serendipity only occurs in a synchronous space. It’s important to be able to happen to be there and have a conversation. In real life, it’s a real event, and because you happen to be there at that time, you can feel some kind of connection with them because you happened to meet them at that time.

If you were under the same circumstances, you can do this on the Internet as well. However, as long as being in a synchronous space doesn’t become the norm, it’s difficult to create these products.

Remote work has made it possible for this synchronous space to exist, as people are now residing on the Internet rather than in real-life, and Clubhouse is a typical app for Consumers. Also, Remotehour provides this for Business. In a world where everyone works remotely, this is the world of the Internet.

In a world where everyone works remotely, everything that is done in real-life will be done on the Internet. This is a big change that never happened with remote work in COVID-19.