Covid-19 is reshaping collective intelligence

Chris Zollinger at Diplomatic Courier: “What a difference a year makes. A survey in April showed that almost 40% of people in the EU had switched to remote work, while estimates in the U.S. range from 30-50%. The video conference has become a staple of our daily working lives in a way that would have been inconceivable 12 months ago, while virtual collaboration tools have become ubiquitous.  

Given the straightened economic climate, it is unsurprising that many businesses see the situation as an opportunity to permanently reduce their cost base. Facebook, for example, has announced that it expects half of its global workforce to work remotely within the next five to ten years, with Twitter, Barclays and Mondelez International making similar moves. On a purely financial level, this seems like a win-win for everyone concerned: employers can save on the capital and operational costs of providing office space, while employees can save the time and money that it would have cost to commute.

However, if we want to move beyond mere economic survival towards recovery and growth, we need to be more ambitious in our thinking. Rather than merely cutting costs, we now have the chance to drive greater innovation and productivity by building more flexible, remote teams. In addition to the cost and time savings associated with remote work, companies now have an opportunity to shift the focus of their recruitment to new geographic areas and hire talented new employees without the need for them to physically relocate. In this way, they can form purpose-built teams to solve specific tasks over a defined time period….(More)”.