What's Next For Remote Workers in 2021?

Remote workforces became the norm in 2020—and 2021 could see more of the same as organizations look to keep employees healthy and happy

Key takeaways

  • Work-from-home and work-from-anywhere will continue
  • A remote workforce creates network performance challenges
  • 7Signal's Mobile Eye offers visibility that can help

People all over the world faced numerous challenges in 2020, including suddenly adapting to a work-from-home environment. This change created specific difficulties for companies and their IT departments as they attempted to keep everyone connected through the pandemic.

COVID-19 isn't over yet, as we still have months before a vaccine is available to everyone. Additionally, some organizations, including Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Uber, and Mastercard, are offering employees the chance to continue working from home into the near future.

The result is a world where work-from-home isn't going anywhere, leaving organizations to adapt their policies and tech to meet the demand.

Here's a look at what 2021 could mean for the remote workforce:

Remote HR and hiring

Organizations hire employees in new ways because of COViD-19 protocols, including conducting virtual interviews. From there, companies can complete the entire candidate selection and onboarding process by video conference.

We'll likely see this trend continue in 2021 as protocols remain in place for months to come. Some organizations might make video interviews a fixture when seeking new employees, too.

The switch to remote human resources is a broader trend that came to the forefront in 2020 and could continue for years. As long as employees are staying home, even if only part-time, there will be room for a range of digital HR functions to take place. 

Working from anywhere

One potential trend that wasn't as possible in 2020 as it might be in 2021 is working from anywhere

With shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders prevalent throughout the country, employees couldn't, or at least didn't want to, head to a local coffee shop to get some work done. It was also prohibitively challenging to take a vacation to Mexico, the Caribbean, or other tropical destinations, let alone try to work while there.

As we move toward the end of the pandemic, however, travel will become more manageable, and individuals will be itching to make up for lost time. The result could be more work-from-home employees leaving town and taking their work with them. 

It's important to note, though, that having employees use public or shared Wi-Fi connections adds an entirely new layer of security and performance vulnerabilities to devices. This is something IT teams will have to actively address if employees take advantage of their reclaimed freedom.

Employees choosing their equipment

As employees become more comfortable working from home, many individuals and organizations invest in office equipment that makes their lives easier. These purchases may start with new chairs and desks but quickly move into laptops, wearables, and other devices.

All of these instruments will need access to the office's remote server or cloud-based system, creating performance challenges for IT teams. 

Rather than monitoring the performance of devices connected to the local network, teams will have to consider a wider range of new equipment that could, in theory, be located all over the world.

When Wi-Fi issues happen on a remotely-connected device, it's still up to IT to identify and troubleshoot the problems before they cause significant slowdowns. But this visibility isn’t usually possible with disparate networks—unless you have the right wireless network monitoring (WNM) technology. And when an employee is sitting on a beach in Mexico or a cottage in the country rather than in the office, poor connections become more likely.

Remote work's speed and reliability

As employees use devices outside the office and connect to different networks, speed and reliability become more prevalent issues. IT teams will need to monitor employee devices and their connectivity to look for problems and address them before they cause significant problems.

One solution to this problem is the Mobile Eye® from 7SIGNAL. This software can be installed on employee equipment—including laptops and mobile phones purchased for at-home use—providing an IT team with unparalleled device and network visibility. Managers can identify and address issues as they arise to keep your remote workforce on track. 

The way people work changed a lot in 2020, and 2021 is likely to continue the remote trend. 7SIGNAL's Mobile Eye technology is an excellent investment for organizations of all sizes. Contact us for a free trial or to learn more about how the platform can improve productivity and performance.

7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise wireless experience monitoring. 7SIGNAL provides a cloud-based platform that continuously monitors wireless networks and identifies elusive performance issues impacting application performance and digital experience. By taking the “outside-in” approach to monitoring, 7SIGNAL has visibility into the edge of any enterprise or home Wi-Fi network where complex device interaction exists, and user experience matters most. The platform maximizes employee productivity, operational efficiency, and network ROI. Sapphire Eye® and Mobile Eye® are designed for and deployed at the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, healthcare systems, and government agencies. Learn more at