Working mothers are finding more remote employment opportunities in the online gaming industry. Technology and COVID-19 are driving the movement away from conventional offices, with both workers and employers preferring to work remotely. Hybrid models where a worker spends 1-2 days at the office, and the rest at home, are becoming increasingly popular.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed most companies, including those in the online gaming industry, to reevaluate whether or not a conventional office presence is essential.
What is online gaming?
In this context, online gaming, or iGaming, is the online casino industry. The online gaming industry has been experiencing rapid growth, especially in the last decade. The Entertainment Software Association recently predicted that this year’s revenue would reach $90 billion by the end of 2021. This growth corresponds to a 25% increase over 2018 and an average annual growth rate of 12%.
Remote Work Helps Employers
Many employers agree that productivity increased in 2020 when most white-collar workers were at home. A recent study by the University of Illinois found that nearly all telecommuting employees are more productive than their office-based counterparts. Some companies have even eliminated formal offices favouring a hybrid model where workers spend one or two days at the office and three to four days working from home. Already a technology-based industry, online gaming was quick to adapt to this new normal.
Rootz, a Malta-based company that operates the Wildz, Caxino, and Wheelz casino brands, has increased its workforce from about two dozen to over 100 during the pandemic. With much of the iGaming workforce retreating to their native countries to be closer to family and friends during the pandemic, it became necessary that Rootz better accommodate remote workers. This is especially true of highly skilled employees that might not otherwise be found in the domestic Maltese market. Since the COVID pandemic started, about half of Rootz’s new hires have worked in remote positions.
Further, most of their office-based employees are now working a couple of days a week from home. The COVID-19 period proves that a balance of office and remote work increases productivity.
Rootz’s Head of Content, Jason Ward, explains: “When it came to writing bulk content, especially for the two casino brands we launched during the pandemic, the ability to write for long stretches uninterrupted by the normal bustle of the office was a godsend in terms of efficiency. The one downside is that individuals without good response times on Slack and email can slow things down at times, but this is easily remedied by a company encouraging active communications. Without face-to-face contact, timely communication via electronic channels is essential to keep the ball rolling. But overall, an office and remote work balance is proving itself a good way forward, COVID or not.”
Remote Work Benefits the Individual
The time and money saved from not commuting can add up to a lot. The average person in the UK spends about 45 minutes per day commuting to and from their workplace! That’s 3.75 hours per week, or 195 hours per year spent just getting to and from work. Most of this time is in the car – even if you take public transport, you’ll still be spending at least an hour on the train! And then there’s parking costs and fuel.
A Silver Lining: Less Pollution
The environmental benefits are also huge: COVID-19 has made it much more difficult for people to drive their cars to work every day, which means less pollution in our cities, towns and villages. But best of all, when we’re not driving so far each day, we have more free time for anything.
Furthermore, overall power consumption was reduced during lockdown periods when offices were closed completely. Residential consumption was higher than usual during these lockdown periods, but the closure of commercial spaces more than made up the difference.
With the current hybrid model of working from both the home and office becoming increasingly popular, employers will need to be more mindful of how electricity is used in the office. Otherwise, it’s conceivable that power consumption could increase if offices don’t make an effort to offset their increasingly home-based workforces.
Remote work is fuelling unforeseen consequences. The movement towards the home office increases demand for rural and suburban housing, which drives up property prices and pushes lower-income rural residents into less desirable areas. Due to prior gentrification, lower-income families have already been driven away from city centres where they would typically find affordable goods and services like groceries, clothes, haircuts etc.
Online Gaming Surges
The COVID pandemic caused people to explore online casinos for things to do during the lockdown period. The general lack of entertainment options made this one of the few activities many people could do without fear of becoming sick. As the lockdowns spread across Europe and North America, the volume of online casino play significantly increased. The Spring and Summer of 2020 were some of the strongest months ever for the online casino industry. With the Delta variant still aggressively spreading and lingering social restrictions still in place, while it might not approach lockdown levels of growth in these coming years, the movement towards online gambling from land-based alternatives looks to continue unabated for several years.
In a Nutshell
The online gaming industry is thriving in the wake of COVID-19. Technology and COVID-19 are driving a movement away from conventional office spaces to home offices with both positive and negative consequences. The growth of the gaming industry, and the revolution in the post-COVID office space, should be of keen interest to any working mum who’s interested in a dynamic new sector.