While there’s no denying that with remote working conditions, you can save yourself from a variety of unnecessary office politics, from a macro perspective, you must assess how remote work is changing the professional landscape. Dealing with COVID-19, the global business world had to update its way of working and structure its workflow accordingly. With much debate on the positives and negatives of remote work, one thing is sure this futuristic approach to remote work is here to stay.
How Remote Work Is Changing Employees?
Employees Want the Choice
Before COVID-19, many employees had never worked remotely, but now that they have, they are not too sure if they would like to return to office premises. Workplaces have had to become more flexible as more employees express a desire to keep up remote working arrangements.
Move to Rural Communities / Suburbs
A CBRE report claims that emigration from crowded, expensive urban metropolises to more rural areas increased significantly in 2020. The ability to work from anywhere was the main reason why 15% more people left urban centers in 2020 than in 2019. People are discovering that living in smaller, more tightly-knit rural communities enables them to feel more a part of their neighborhood and spend more time and money there.
Prior to the pandemic, some people who occasionally worked from home sat at the kitchen table or in another improvised location. Even though this wasn’t ideal, investing in a proper, useful, and ergonomic workspace just wasn’t practical or economical. But now, considering how remote work is changing everything, it’s very different. Working remotely is expected to continue growing, at least 3-4 days a week at home and 1-2 days a week in the office.
Therefore, remote workers must design their workspace to maximize privacy, engagement, and productivity rather than hinder them. The good news is that some businesses are covering furniture and accessories like desks, chairs, noise-canceling headphones, etc.
In comparison to pre-pandemic, remote workers have been working extra hours per day on average. Unfortunately, this is not because professionals are motivated and enthusiastic about working remotely, especially those who are new to the field. Instead, it is because they are having trouble with how remote work is changing their work and life balance.
However, remote workers can restore and maintain work-life balance by prioritizing eating wholesome, nutritious, and timed meals and adhering to a fitness regimen that a doctor has approved.
Working remotely has given colleagues the opportunity to improve integration and communication. Team members can stay in touch through the company intranet and appear present in the workplace.
This kind of effective collaboration can encourage motivation and positive feelings. Employees may go above and beyond when you ask them to stay late or create an outstanding presentation due to this. Additionally, remote workers are typically happier than office workers, which makes them strong brand ambassadors for the business.
How Remote Work Is Changing Upper Management?
Enabling Employees With The Tools They Need
One of the biggest problems at the beginning of the pandemic was that remote workers weren’t ready to work from home for a long time. Even though things have changed significantly since then, some remote workers still lack access to certain supplies. Remote desktop software, real-time communication apps, video conferencing platforms, project management software, time management software, and security software are some of the most crucial tools for remote workers. Additionally, managers shouldn’t expect that all remote workers are capable of using these tools. Some professionals do, but not everyone. It’s crucial to get in touch with your employees proactively and offer training material on how remote work is changing and the appropriate tools to keep up.
Maintaining Effective Communication
Employees can accept organizational change without necessarily agreeing with it. Instead, it’s important that they understand the reasons behind the change. Given this, managers are expected to inform remote employees of impending and proposed changes that have an impact on them both directly and indirectly at work, even if the change is not welcomed. Managers must ensure that the right people perform the right actions while clarifying role definitions without micromanaging. Hence, there is a greater emphasis on documentation as well.
Focus on Results Rather than the Process
When managers adopt a remote work paradigm, one of the biggest challenges is shifting their attention from processes to outcomes. In other words, it usually doesn’t matter when remote workers work; what matters is what they produce and how well they do it. Of course, this assumes that their schedule doesn’t interfere with or negatively affect other employees or any other aspect of the business.
Keeping Up with The Checks and Balances
While managers must put their remote team’s needs first and grant them the autonomy they require, they also cannot be careless. Managers must conduct a professional investigation if there are allegations or suspicions of inappropriate behavior, which is discreetly, honestly, respectfully, documenting everything, fully complying with employment laws and best practices, etc.
How Is Remote Work Benefits the Business?
There’s no denying the obvious signs of how remote work is changing businesses for the better.
Less or no staff means lower overhead costs because less is used for office supplies, computers, workstations, and electricity. Insurance, office supplies, utilities, repairs, maintenance, and other costs also decrease.
Renting office space can be extremely expensive for employers, so any way that can help to decrease these costs is always welcome. Remote working opportunities can assist with this by reducing the office space required, potentially allowing you to relocate to much smaller premises.
Access to Top Talent Globally
Ever wondered how remote work is changing the recruitment process as well? Eliminating some employment barriers typically connected to office-based working arrangements is an often-overlooked advantage of remote work. This dismantling of barriers gives businesses the opportunity to broaden their search for talent and hire the best candidates for each position, regardless of where they live.
Recruitment efforts are typically restricted to local residents or those willing to relocate when a workplace requires physical attendance. However, these limitations become less important when the option to manage remote teams is available, and you may be able to hire new employees from any country.
Better Employee Retention
Another significant advantage for businesses is the potential to lower staff turnover by keeping employees on board for longer. This is important as it can be expensive and risky to find a suitable replacement for departing employees and train them to carry out their duties.
For a variety of reasons, remote work aids businesses in keeping employees. Many staff members value flexibility and value the opportunity to work remotely. Stay-at-home parents may be able to continue working when they might otherwise have to stop. You can surely notice how remote work is changing the physical need to relocate for a job.
By now, you must be clear on how remote work is changing the business world for the better. However, many may argue that it has several disadvantages that cannot be ignored. Nonetheless, we are still adapting to this new way of working across the industry. Things will continue to improve as we’ve completed the trial and error phase of it.