There is a recent study in Latin America by Wokana, dicussing:
"What happened to remote work in companies prior to the pandemic?"
As they elaborated, until the beginning of 2020, many company leaders did not believe that remote work could work and that their employees could be productive working from home.
The study reflects on the forms of work before the pandemic and mentions two clear options: work in the office was the rule and the home office was only a benefit offered by some employers, once or twice a week at most.
According to their survey, 59.1% of companies affirmed that they already promoted the home office before the pandemic. While on the side of professionals in a dependency relationship, only 36.3% stated that they had had this practice enabled in the company where they work.
On the other hand, the report delves into who they consider to be the pioneers of working from home. “Freelancers are pioneers in the remote work model that is prevalent at the moment. Since the beginning of their independent careers, they had to adapt to the uncertainty of a changing world and have been developing the skills required by this modality of remote work. In a conference, Guillermo Bracciaforte, co-founder and COO of Workana, portrayed the freedom of life for freelancers: “Work is no longer a place where we go. The work must have a high degree of freedom. Because if we don't have freedom and autonomy, how can we be the best of ourselves? "
The study goes back in time to analyse established ways of working, and returns to the challenge posed by the beginning of the pandemic when she says “most companies froze hiring (including freelancers) to focus on adapting to remote work and the care of its employees ”.
The report delves into the forced passage to work from home: "The pandemic took everyone by surprise, and presented the challenge of moving to a 100% remote work" Likewise, it highlights the speed of companies at the time to adapt. As they pointed out, the majority (52.6% were already prepared to operate remotely because they had tools and systems that could be used remotely, or they managed to adapt in just a few days (22.8% adapted in less than 10 days) focusing a large part of its efforts on the readjustment of the teams, reconfiguration of the way of working, on management and leadership changes.
Finally, the report addresses a crucial point such as productivity. “The implementation of remote work was an issue that had been delayed within companies and was beginning to appear in some exponents who dared to innovate. One of the aspects that made progress towards this modality difficult was linked to productivity, mistakenly believing that distance, the fact of working from home, would imply a setback in this regard ”. They highlight that the coronavirus accelerated this process and that the results are showing us another perspective in relation to it.