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Working From Home Tipped To Become Permanent For Many

SAN FRANCISCO/SYDNEY: Globally, four out of five people’s jobs are being hit by the coronavirus pandemic and a total of 81 percent of the global workforce of 3.3 billion people have had their workplace fully or partly closed. Get used to it, Aussie workers – for many, working from home may become permanent in the view of some industry observers.

Restrictions on daily life have brought the closure of many companies and the laying off of staff – either permanently or temporarily, according to figures from the UN-based International Labour Organisation (ILO).

“Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies,” said ILO director general Guy Ryder.  “We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent, measures, could make the difference between survival and collapse.”

The agency expects nearly 200 million people could end up out of work. But other millions may continue to work on from home, with benefits both for the workers and their employers.

Researcher Gartner says the move that has seen millions of employees working from home may never return to a traditional office or work environment. Its survey found 74 percent of CFOs intend to shift at least five percent of previously on-site employees to permanent remote positions after the virus passes into history.

     Gartner finance practice vice president Alexander Bant believes there will be a lasting impact, affecting how companies do business.

    “CFOs, already under pressure to tightly manage costs, clearly sense an opportunity to realise the cost benefits of a remote workforce – in fact, nearly a quarter of respondents said they will move at least 20pc of their on-site employees to permanent remote positions,” Bant said. 

     But Gartner warns that the transition to large-scale remote working inevitably puts additional strain on the IT department. 

    “Forcing the IT infrastructure group to bear the same cost reductions as another functional area could expose organisations to new risks or negatively affect business continuity,” said Gartner researcher Dennis Gannon. 

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