The Chances of Many of You Returning to the Office is Becoming More Remote: eDiscovery Trends

See what I did there?  😉  It probably won’t surprise many of you that organizations are continuing to embrace remote work more and that trend has been put into “hyperdrive” since the COVID-19 pandemic began.  But, what do the numbers say?  Here are twelve stats for you that illustrate the extent of remote working trends and the challenges that still remain with them.

  • Almost three-fourths of companies in a recent survey (74 percent) expect to permanently shift some employees to remote work after the pandemic, with nearly half of them (47 percent) shifting at least ten percent of their workforce to remote work permanently (Source: Gartner);
  • Almost three-fourths of companies in another recent survey (71 percent) say that the current situation has created a more positive view of remote workplace policies and will likely impact how they plan for office space, tech staffing and overall staffing in the future, with 44 percent indicating they need to acquire new technology solutions/services to meet that need (Source: IDG);
  • Almost three in five (59 percent) of U.S. workers who have been doing their jobs from home during the coronavirus pandemic would prefer to continue to work remotely as much as possible, once public health restrictions are lifted (Source: Gallup);
  • More than half (54 percent) of office workers would be willing to quit their job for one that allows them to work remotely (Source: Gallup);
  • 37 percent of jobs in the United States can be performed entirely at home, with these jobs typically paying more than jobs that cannot be done at home and accounting for 46 percent of all US wages (Source: Becker Friedman Institute);
  • 77 percent of US employees said they work the same or more hours working from home, with 69 percent stating their productivity levels are the same or higher (Source: Citrix);
  • Only 65 percent of Americans reported having fast enough internet capacity to support workable video calls (Source: Stanford University);
  • Google won’t bring its 200,000 employees back to the office until July 2021 (Source: Washington Post via Ride the Lightning blog).

Many of the above stats were at the beginning of the pandemic shutdown, when many people and organizations expected the shutdown to last only a few weeks, so I would expect the trend toward remote work to even be greater now.  From an eDiscovery standpoint, this means even more of an emphasis on remote services, including collection and review, than ever before.  Expect a run on faster internet capacity in homes and an emphasis on work at home standards that address the increased data breach vulnerability that many organizations face with so much more remote access to their resources than before.

Oh, and (needless to say) it’s probably not a good time to be a commercial real estate broker.

So, what do you think?  Do any of these numbers surprise you, or did you expect them to be even more dramatic in terms of the trend toward remote work?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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