These days, due to coronavirus outbreak, many businesses have asked their employees to work from home. Even more conservative organizations that would never consider remote work before have been forced to do so. Many countries have imposed travel bans and an unprecedented country-wide quarantine has been announced in Italy, Spain and Bulgaria.
At the same time, the stock markets collapsed, and most businesses already report skyrocketing losses, unmet revenue targets and insufficient stock due to production slow down in China, India and the rest of the world.
Work from home and remote work are not new as a concept, then why are so many companies unprepared for the shift to 'home office'' arrangements?
In the past, very few work from home jobs were created. These were mostly available to work from home moms and people less able to move who benefited the most from work from home arrangements. Typically, these remote jobs did not require advanced skills – data entry jobs, image tagging, image labeling, customer support, online call centers, telemarketing, online surveys and the like.
Over the last decade, a new trend emerged as tech talent was scarce where it was needed the most. Startup hubs like Berlin, London, New York, Los Angeles, Bangalore, Hong Kong and Singapore offered access to venture capital and vibrant start ecosystems thus attracting the brightest founders. However, talent was not in abundance and relocation was not always an option due to the skyrocketing rent prices. Out of a sudden, both startup founders and investors started asking themselves ‘’ What is our remote strategy? Can we tap into new and diverse talent pools elsewhere in the world?’’
Diversity hiring is not about ticking boxes in checklists or having all groups represented whatever the definition might be across different geographies around the world. It’s equal access to jobs and diversity of thought that add value to the business. Having people of a diverse origin helps market entry as they understand various cultures and can adapt the product to match the local preferences and expectations. The same is valid for people who have graduated from a variety of universities and schools. Scientific knowledge has different dimensions and the learning process varies a lot worldwide. Even though Korea and Finland have been on the top of the list of the most educated nations, the school systems in these countries vary a lot and it is almost impossible to compare them with each other. Students who have graduated from schools and universities in any of these two countries are likely to have totally different approach to the same problem and that adds value to the business, especially when innovative startups are considered.
Work from home and remote work also significantly cut office costs. Instead of paying ridiculously high rent in San Francisco or London, startups and small businesses can spend on product development and marketing, thus tremendously increasing the chances of successful market entry and expansion.
By creating work from home jobs and remote jobs, businesses boost the purchasing power of local communities around the world, give a chance to neurodiverse people or people with a disability, help parents spend more time with their children, reduce the carbon emissions associated with the daily commute to the office and the list of benefits to the society at large goes on.
So, who benefits the most from work from home jobs and diversity hiring programs?
Work from home jobs & Hiring Neurodiverse People
Hiring neurodiverse people was stigmatized for many years. First of all, the hiring managers were not necessarily aware of the various conditions neurodiverse people might be diagnosed with. People on the autism spectrum and people diagnosed with bipolar depression tend to behave differently, their response to stressful situations and pressure at work varies a lot and they have different needs. As understanding the behavior of neurodiverse people is key to providing an inclusive workplace environment, most hiring managers would rather avoid hiring people on the autism spectrum sensitive to noise or work-related stress. The same was valid for hiring neurodiverse people in general. All this changed for good when it became known that neurodiverse people can be super talented mathematicians, artists, engineers or software developers.
Marie O’Riordan is a great example of a neurodiverse person who has built an impressive career as a journalist and PR Expert. Asked to provide a piece of advice on providing equal job opportunities, Marie said:
‘’ It is not always obvious and easy to spot that someone needs support or feels excluded. Depression doesn’t necessarily manifest itself until it is too late. Bipolar depression is widespread in the developed world and people suffering from it are often reluctant to seek help fearing that their condition may result in losing their jobs or not be offered a job. The same is valid for high-functioning people on the autism spectrum. Their condition is often stigmatized, and they are afraid of being neglected if the hiring managers find out about it. Educating the hiring managers about the personal characteristics of neurodiverse people and addressing the unconscious and sometimes conscious bias in the hiring process, is the first step in providing equal access to jobs and career opportunities.’’
Microsoft launched an autism-inclusive hiring program that provides job opportunities for people on the autism spectrum in Microsoft stores and offices. It even made its model for hiring people with autism available to other companies so they can create more jobs for people on the autism spectrum.
As many neurodiverse people are sensitive to noise, stress, light, etc., creating work from home jobs or flexible jobs that allow them to decide when to work from home and when to go to the office will provide opportunities to more people and help them to be successful and stay with the job.
Work From Home Jobs & Hiring People With a Disability
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) legislation worldwide requires businesses to hire people with a disability and in many countries like Korea, Germany, Italy and more there are even disability quotas requiring to hire a certain percentage of people diagnosed with a disability. In some countries, businesses pay fines if they don’t manage to fill in the disability quota. Still, many companies opt to pay the fines than to create jobs for people with disability. There are various reasons for that ranging from the high costs associated with making their offices accessible to training the managers and the workforce on how to respond to the needs of people diagnosed with a disability. Building an inclusive environment, unfortunately, is not always successful.
At the same time, it is much easier to create work from home jobs for people in a wheelchair or people less able to move. Participating in video calls from the comfort of their homes reduces stress and increases the chances of successful integration with the team.
Work From Home Jobs & Hiring People Living in High Unemployment Areas
Talent may be spread equally but this is not necessarily valid for the job opportunities. People living in high unemployment areas around the world have two choices – to relocate or to rely on welfare. Relocation creates even more issues as big cities like London, Delhi, New York, Hong Kong and the like are already overcrowded, and the infrastructure has not been built to support an exponentially growing population. Schools, hospitals, public transport have already been utilized to the maximum. Locally, relocation means abandoned cities and villages and brain drain.
All of this can be avoided by creating remote jobs and work from home jobs. Transformify is based in the UK but our team is around the world and we have people in the Philippines, Serbia, UK, Hong Kong and more. Creating remote jobs is a win-win situation as we can hire the most talented candidates regardless of their location thus supporting the local communities.
Often, creating work from home jobs and remote jobs is mistaken with outsourcing. In fact, companies in London can create remote jobs and build distributed teams in high unemployment areas in the UK, not abroad. Finding information about the skills of the people living in a particularly high unemployment area is not that easy but it is worth the effort.
Work From Home Jobs & Hiring People in the Areas Badly Hit by Coronavirus
Several countries declared a state of emergency due to coronavirus outbreak. So far, these include Italy, Spain, Bulgaria but it is likely the list to be expanded soon. As many businesses are not prepared for the shift to ''home office'', often the employees are asked to stay at home and use their paid annual leave. As paid annual leave is limited, once it’s over, the employees are typically asked to take unpaid leave. Low income or no income results in low consumption which has an extremely negative impact on the economy that has been badly hit by the force major situation anyway. The gig economy can help a lot as most of the people asked to stay at home are skilled and can work online. Translation jobs, online language lessons, copywriting, data entry jobs, call center jobs and more can be a temporary source of income that helps families in difficult times. It is an excellent example of corporate social responsibility as well as everyone is aware which countries and areas have been hit the most by coronavirus outbreak.
Are you willing to create work from home jobs and remote jobs to people in need? Start your 7-day Trial with Tranformify now! Together, we can transform the way people get jobs and provide job opportunities to those in need.