The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend toward remote work, and it's clear that many companies and workers are now embracing this way of working. While remote work was once seen as a perk, it's now becoming a standard way of working for many industries. As we look toward the future, several predictions and trends are shaping the virtual job market.

1. Hybrid work models will become more popular.

Many companies are now considering hybrid work models that allow employees to work both in the office and remotely. This approach will enable companies to have the best of both worlds: the collaboration and face-to-face interaction of an office environment, along with the flexibility and autonomy of remote work. A recent survey found that 83% of executives plan to adopt a hybrid work model.

2. The need for remote work infrastructure will grow.

As remote work becomes increasingly popular, the demand for infrastructure that supports this way of working will continue to grow. While virtual collaboration tools like video conferencing and project management software are necessary, it's also essential to consider the physical aspects of remote work. This includes providing access to coworking spaces that can offer remote employees a professional work environment and equipment and furniture for home offices.

Additionally, it's crucial to prioritize cybersecurity measures to protect remote workers and their devices, especially when working from shared spaces.

3. Remote work will lead to a more diverse workforce.

One of the benefits of remote work is that it allows companies to hire talent from anywhere in the world. Companies can build a more diverse workforce that brings various perspectives and experiences. Employees from different locations and time zones may approach problems and challenges differently; this can lead to a more varied range of solutions, which can help companies to stay competitive and innovative.

In addition, remote work can help to break down geographical barriers and reduce the impact of location-based discrimination. 

4. Remote work will create new opportunities for freelancers and independent contractors.

Companies are increasingly turning to freelancers and independent contractors to fill their talent gaps. This creates new opportunities for workers who prefer to work on a project-by-project basis rather than being tied to a traditional 9-to-5 job. In addition, remote work allows freelancers and independent contractors to work with clients from anywhere in the world, expanding their potential customer base.

5. Remote work will require new skills.

While remote work has many benefits, it also requires new skills that may not be necessary in a traditional office environment. These skills include strong written communication skills, the ability to work independently, and proficiency with remote work tools and software. Companies that can help their employees develop these skills will be better equipped to succeed in the virtual job market.

In conclusion, the future of remote work looks bright, with hybrid work models, new infrastructure, a more diverse workforce, new opportunities for freelancers, and new skills requirements. Companies that can adapt to these changes will be well-positioned to thrive in the virtual job market.