The future of remote work is still unclear
A young professional works remotely outside of the traditional office space. Mr Tanit said the cost savings from working remotely are attractive to employers.
Work trends in 2022 will continue to feature hybrid and remote models, but the proportion of employees working in a physical or virtual office will depend on the type of sector and the roles employees fulfill, says the employers’ association of the Thai Trade and Industry (EconThai).
“Many workplaces in the US have switched to a 100 percent remote work model. That may not be realistic for Thailand yet, but certainly more companies here are still looking for ways to increase remote and hybrid work appearing in the office at the same time, “said Tanit Sorat, Vice-Chairwoman of EconThai.
Mr Tanit said the cost savings from working remotely are attractive to employers. Eliminate the need to rent office space, pay building costs, and reimburse employees for gasoline and tolls when they commute to work or meet customers.
Employees value more freedom and time with loved ones, especially young children, at home. The improved work-life balance from the hybrid and remote work models increases their productivity and leads to better performance in the long term.
Mr. Tanit said such a work environment, in which most customers don’t care if companies have a physical office, has inspired many young people to create startups on the side, especially in the tech space.
“At some point some people who work from home will want to freelance because they know they can,” said Mr. Tanit. “Many IT pros have already done this. Business owners also want to fully outsource some departments to reduce overhead costs. Outsourcing in this context would involve highly skilled talent, not just factory workers.”
But what caught Mr. Tanit’s interest is that currently only 3.5% of active job seekers are looking for freelance or part-time jobs on JobThai.com – one of Thailand’s largest job search sites. He believes that most people still associate full-time office work with stability.
In other words, they believe that their chances of being replaced or “outsourced” are less because daily face-to-face communication supposedly increases their importance in the workplace.
Mr Tanit also said the pandemic has significantly increased technological advances and the need for digital protection in the workplace. He said companies should look to investments in areas like a well-maintained backup server and performing regular data security tests.
“Organizations cannot expect their employees to work well from home without a good remote working system,” said Tanit. “A large IT server and an additional backup server are crucial components. Most important, however, is the security aspect where malicious actors, including competitors, may want to gain access to your data. The security system and WiFi of your employees who work from home could use an upgrade to ensure optimal protection and efficiency. “