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2020's been the year of remote work. Many companies signalled a shift to hybrid or all-remote but some are still adamant to get back to office.

2021 will be an even bigger year for remote work as more companies transition to permanent remote in some form and countries & cities start new programs to attract remote workers.

Here's a few predictions of what is likely to happen in 2021. Also keen to hear what the community thinks is in store for remote work this year.

Hybrid will be the popular choice but not everyone will get the chance to work remotely

- Most companies are scared to try all-remote since they've also seen the challenges with remote.

- They will instead opt for hybrid but managers will decide who works remotely & when.

Hybrid will create even more problems for companies

- Hybrid is a transition phase, not a permanent solution. It will pose new challenges like split b/w those who work remotely & in-house (teams, departments, employees).

- Companies will only realise this the hard way.

Companies that go all-remote will see great benefits in the longer term despite initial hiccups

- All remote will come with its own set of challenges (e.g. culture alignment, managers requiring to learn new skills) but such companies will learn & adapt quickly.

Compensation will be a tricky area, mostly because companies won't agree to single, global pay

- New models of compensation will emerge, location-based pay will be the popular choice

- Companies that discriminate pay for remote & in-office employees will have high churn

πŸ’‘Startup Idea: Remote employee contracts are tricky. Will be nice to have a product/service that takes care of everything around contracts, local labour laws, compensation structure etc. for every employee you hire.

Hiring processes will see the biggest changes in decades

- Companies will focus extensively on skills like writing & testing whether candidates have hobbies outside work

- They will also explore new places to search candidates e.g. niche communities or social platforms

πŸ’‘Startup Idea: Hiring platform (product) tailored for remote hiring where you can: 1) Conduct the entire the assessment on the platform. 2) Have a repository of rounds/questions to choose from for your hiring process. 3) Have a score for each candidate that is computed basis their online profile/activity.

Similar existing platforms for other industries: HackerRank, HackerEarth.

Candidates will prefer all-remote, global pay roles. Such roles will see stiff competition globally

- Only handful companies will offer such roles at least in 2021 & there will be global competition for these roles

As travel opens up, 'staycations' will be a popular choice

- Long-terms stays closer to nature, at hill stations, beaches etc. will become a trend.

- High-speed internet availability at such places will become a competitive advantage for hotels & Airbnbs.

Local governments offering incentives to attract remote workers will become common but public infrastructure will remain a challenge

- Countries & cities will act fast to attract people but will focus less on getting basics right - high-speed internet, co-working spaces etc.

AR & VR will see increased interest from makers of remote working tools & investors

- Makers would turn to AR & VR to build the next game-changing remote products. Such startups will see huge amounts of money poured into them partly due to hefty promises & partly due to need