Much has been said about the havoc wreaked during the COVID-19 pandemic. A research study by NCAER, which projected the slowdown caused by the pandemic in the first three quarters of 2020-21, stated that over 2.15 crore jobs (estimated) had been lost as a result of the pandemic. However, not all was lost to the pandemic. The rural economy’s monumental rise during the pandemic came as a shot in the arm for the local/rural workforce, thanks in part to the perks of remote working. According to a survey at OptimHire, we found out that there has been a 150% increase in the rural economy since the increased adoption of remote work that happened during pandemic.
– Larry Kodali, CEO, OptimHire
Imagine a scenario wherein a person’s economic stature rises from that of an average villager to one of the richest people in the community. Yes, you read that right. Rajesh Jain, a member of the OptimHire team from a remote area of Rajasthan, has been working from home since the nationwide shutdown and has been out-earning everyone in his village. Interestingly, with just 4-5 months of his earnings, Rajesh can now afford to buy a beautiful land in his village and live a grand life.
This indicates that there has been a steady increase in the earning opportunities in the rural areas while their expenses are reduced which makes people want to work from their hometown.
This is just one story. At OptimHire, you will find many such success stories as a result of our remote work culture and added flexibility in the way work happens.
Remote Work is Uplifting India’s Rural Economy
Here are some solid reasons for why India’s rural economy has received such a significant boost, in case you’re wondering how has it become possible.
1. No Need to Migrate in Order to Work
Quite often, rural and small-town people migrate to cities and metropolitans in search of jobs and better career options. As a result of this, most of the metropolitan cities are immensely populated and pan-cultural. Work migration is a global phenomenon as a result of which employees working in cities have to stay away from their families. However, due to COVID and lockdowns, many people were forced to return to their hometowns and villages. Interestingly, they had to reenter the cities once their workplaces were up and running.
However, making remote work the norm, as is done at OptimHire, allows employees to further their careers while working from home without moving to bigger cities. Such a setup has given rise to extremely healthy work-life balance and contented, productive employees.
“Though I am born and brought up in Ahmedabad, after marriage I stay in Surendranagar, which is a very small town, about 123km from Ahmedabad. Here opportunities are less. To be precise, for me it is just zero and the mentality for people here in this place is quite different. So, for a woman like me going out and working can be a cultural shock. But now while I am working from home, here in Surendranagar, I am no more worried about opportunities. Ahmedabad has all the good opportunities but thanks to remote work, I won’t have to go away from my in-laws and husband for work.”
– Nisha Gandhi
(Resident of Surendranagar, Gujarat),
2. Stay Close to Your Roots and Family
Another peril of employment-oriented migration is the constant psychological dilemma that a rural dweller tends to experience whilst making his way to the city. In cities, the employees from rural areas often feel disconnected at times as they miss their roots and communities. Fortunately, this issue will no longer make its presence felt. Remote working organizations, such as OptimHire, have allowed the employees to go back to their hometowns and work from the comfort of their homes. This practice has provided the rural employees with an opportunity to stay in touch with their roots. Furthermore, this practice has also enabled them to work with a clear mind, without feeling out of place. The remote way of work have made it possible for the employees to spend time with their communities and families, while propelling in their careers.
3. Enjoy a Peaceful and Pollution-Free Environment Whilst Working From Home
It goes without saying that these ever-growing metropolitans and cities are chaotic and polluted and adjusting in this environment becomes difficult for people hailing from towns and villages.
However, the opportunity to work from home allows employees from rural areas to keep the hustle-bustle of cities at bay. While working from their hometowns, they can have a customisable office environment or they can work with ease in an open yard and breathe clean air. We believe that a peaceful, comfortable work environment results in increased productivity as well as happy employees.
“I am the only son in the family. With remote work, when I am working from my hometown, I can spend more time with my parents without compromising on my work. At home, I can be just the way I am and work from wherever I want (like not restricted to a designated table and a certain way of clothing). Also, I feel the luxury lies in being able to spend some time with my friends and family along with my work duties. Moreover, my expenses are reduced to a great extent as I could save lots of money since I won’t have to travel to work. At the office, we have a fixed time of work. But at home, we work longer. I can work more peacefully at home because there was no stress of commuting.”
– Mahfujul Haque
(Resident of Karimganj, Assam),
4. No Need to Live Within Rented Apartments
People migrate from rural areas to urban areas to pursue lucrative careers. The situation simply doesn’t change that much, though. Employees will still need to spend a sizeable portion of their income on living expenses because it’s not easy to make it in a big city. Making ends meet consumes a large portion of total earnings. In cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, food expenses and rent are exorbitant. Even after moving to a place specifically for work, people struggle to save much money due to the high cost of living there.
Now, with the arrival of remote working opportunities, such as the one offered by OptimHire, the tables seem to have turned. Employees went back to their homes and worked from the comfort and tranquility of home without having to spend a hefty chunk out of their earnings to maintain an urban lifestyle. Remote employees can work from home which allows them to enjoy home-cooked meals and the warmth of their hometown. Moreover, working from home is also bound to increase a person’s savings as the urban lifestyle cost a fortune while maintaining the same lifestyle in a village will cost you way less.
“With the type of work we are doing, a good internet connection and stable electricity are enough for work. I can stay at home with my family and work at the same time. Being a bachelor, I can say honestly that staying alone means we don’t have a proper timetable. Staying alone means I have to take care of my food, cleaning, etc. It becomes stressful at times to work as well as manage household chores. When I am at home, I can concentrate peacefully on work without worrying much about all these because I have my family around to help with all these. Travelling time and money get saved too. Having my family around also makes me feel loved and at ease because there’s a strong support system which I miss in my city work-life. I can set up my workspace according to my convenience when I am working from home. At home, I don’t spend money on rent and other extra expenses.”
(Resident of Karimganj, Assam),
5. Unlock the Global Job Market
Working from home offers several benefits. First off, it becomes possible to access a wider range of career opportunities that are not limited by geography. This is immensely useful for job seekers in rural areas and small towns, wherein there may not be having many local job openings and opportunities. Remote working has become relentless, thanks to the companies like OptimHire. Remote working allows people to work for companies in different parts of the world. We can work for any organisation, regardless of their geographic location or time zone.
“Remote working is more productive than working from the office. You won’t have to spend long hours commuting to work. Travelling long hours daily is hectic which affects one’s ability to keep their mind at ease and concentrate on the job. Starting the day’s work with an irritated mind is not at all healthy. Working from home on the other hand is stress-free and you can start your work with a clear mind and everything in place. Away from the busy city life, working at home is rather peaceful. Coming from a smaller town like Hojai, where opportunities were not much, work from home has opened doors to new opportunities. Despite all personal and family obligations, work can be done with a better focus and dedication, which gives a space for growth. I believe the secret to successful remote work setup is communication with the team while working from your comfort space.”
– Ubaid (Resident of Hojai),
6. Go for the Jobs that are Stable and Lucrative
Another reason behind the ever-growing popularity of remote jobs, such as the ones at OptimHire is: these jobs are equally well paid, secure and stable. So, why move from a village to a city in search of a well-paid job? Rural employees can now prioritise their needs and work in accordance with their convenience. These jobs offer good exposure, growth opportunities, and are equally well paid.
“This is my first job and on top of that since March 2020 we are working completely remote; I didn’t expect so much growth. Coming from a completely different background of medicine when I joined here as a recruiter, I was quite unaware of the technologies and other stuff. I learned hard work is the key here, location is no constraint. I started as a Recruiter, was promoted to Team Lead and now I am Recruitment Manager. With just 2 years of experience, I have a good status in the office where I am in charge of certain important decisions. At home, my productivity is top-notch because there are no distractions, which may not be achievable in the office. Additionally, there are a tonne of chances for growth. This means, I can stay at my home, without worrying about how my career will advance, which is a reason for worry for many people coming from smaller town like mine. Even at home, I will experience the same growth as I would in a city. My story of growth is like zero to hero!”
(Resident of Hojai, Assam),
What Does The Future Hold in Store?
The rural economy has already grown by an astounding 150%, and as it continues to grow, the rural landscape is expected to see some notable future changes.
1. Increased Access to Better Infrastructure
With the rise of the rural economy, it is quite obvious that people would like to witness a sea change in the economic landscape of their villages. This will encourage them to give rise to infrastructural developments pertaining to education and health. Also, it will improve the standard of living in villages, allow ing them to get access to basic infrastructures like healthcare and internet which are often a pressing concern in the rural areas.
2. Preserve Your Funds and Enhance Your Standard of Living
With this change, the rural economy would save a lot of money. With remote working, people are able to keep a wide set of expenses at bay. Rid yourself of the expenses that you think can be avoided. Raise the standard of your living by staying at home and investing on things that enhance your lifestyle.
3. Rural Areas Can Enjoy Better Connectivity to Cities
Rural areas would need greater broadband and internet connection as remote working becomes more prevalent. The establishment of connectivity between rural areas and the rest of the world would be made easier by this breakthrough. Additionally, the transportation and communication systems will undoubtedly improve once the rural economy begins to expand rapidly. Therefore, in the near future, rural won’t be a distant or disconnected from the rest of the world.
4. The Rural Economy Will Take Off
With remote working, rural economy has grown by 150% in recent years. In the foreseeable future, this rate is anticipated to reach higher altitudes. We anticipate a rapid economic growth of 300% in near future. Intriguingly, the standard of living in rural areas will improve over the next few years as the rural economy develops further.
5. Improved Inclusivity
Companies can embrace diversity and inclusion by hiring people from a variety of socioeconomic, regional, and cultural backgrounds. This can be a difficult when recruiting is confined to a single location which is often not desired by people from rural areas now that they have the option of remote work. There are times when a favoured location might drain your finances. Remote working keeps such concerns and challenges at bay.
It is heartening to see that companies have chosen to support diversity, rural communities, and inclusivity culture by hiring individuals who can work from home in the communities where they feel most at home. Fortunately, the future of remote working looks bright and promising as the world is seeing a major shift in the way work happens.
Video conferencing and other remote work technologies has already taken over as the primary method of employee communication. Even the conventional ways of conducting face-to-face interviews have become a thing of the past now. AI-driven technology is expected to play a major role in team management and making remote work a huge success. With such a significant paradigm shift in the work dynamics unfolding globally, we think that the remote work culture is here to stay and that it’s only the beginning of the expansion of the rural economy.