It was merely implemented at a greater speed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Since the coronavirus has transformed work and office life, even companies with slower-moving cultures are likely to follow, since every organization should be prepared for the sudden change and need to remote all processes from manufacturing to customer support.
Even though the majority of companies have lately started transitioning back to the office, a significant part of them has decided to keep the hybrid work model. They are considering which elements they would like to incorporate or scrap from their work culture.
Modern technology provides numerous appealing possibilities for remote work. Cloud-based solutions enable employees to collaborate and share without difficulties.
As a result, productivity and collaboration are at an all-time high.
Over the past year, no area has undergone a more rapid transformation than the way we work.
As more employers allow fully or at least partially remote work environments, this may become an expectation for many candidates when looking for a job. Increased job satisfaction among employees can lead to all sorts of beneficial things for employers. Higher staff loyalty, more productivity, happier employees and a better reputation are just a few.
According to a recent survey*, over 50% of employers indicate increased productivity as the main benefit of remote work, tightly followed by increased efficiency and increased employee morale. The latter surely leads to the next top rank benefit: improved employee loyalty. Companies that offer work-from-home options may also improve their public relations, since people may feel more inclined to support companies when the employees there seem happy.
The possibility of hiring people from different areas also benefits companies to gain unique perspectives and ways of thinking. Rather than being confined to candidates within their area, remote employers can hire candidates from all over the world and benefit from the best and brightest employees.
And interestingly: when working remotely, a variety of communication platforms is available to keep all communications in one place. This can lead to improved collaboration among employees and better organization.
For many employees, the work-from-home period has given them the unique opportunity to show that they have the ability to work responsibly and efficiently from their home environment.
47% of respondents* state that it is very likely that they will remain with their current employer if remote work solutions are supported.
According to the survey*, over 50% of respondents chose flexible scheduling as the main benefits of working remote, followed by lack of need to commute, savings on time and costs, and being able to care for family or pets. Improved health and freedom to relocate or being able to ‘live where you want’ were also chosen by more than 25% of respondents.
Working from home can make it easier for employees to create a better work-life balance. Since remote work tends to be more flexible, employees can better manage their personal time.
Although it may seem like there would be more distractions at home, the biggest difference is that employees find it easier to control these distractions, as opposed to those that come from co-workers and office noise.
Living and working in the same environment can often bring inherent stress, especially if you’re juggling your job with childcare or/and other responsibilities. Not everyone prefers working from home as they cannot concentrate. Some struggle to find a healthy balance between work and private life and this can cause issues with efficiency, and lead to frustration and burnout.
Work from home can challenge social connections
It can also challenge social connections. Losing in-person contact with co-workers, family and friends during the pandemic was stressful and led to increased rates of isolation and loneliness. Collaboration, spontaneity, face-to-face interactions all feel different when people are working alone from their homes. Newer employees or those with little experience can also feel disconnected.
Surprisingly, unplugging can also be a major pain point remote workers encounter when working in their virtual environment. After working all day remotely, it can be a challenge not to finish the current task and not to continue being online.
And of course, there is the security issue. When employees work from home, especially if they are using their own devices, a high risk of data breaches or similar security issues emerges.
However, with correct instructions and security measures provided by the employer, these risks can be greatly minimized.
As more employers allowed fully or at least partially remote work environments, this recently became an expectation for many employees. So, if employers want to keep their current employees happy and attract new talents, they may want to implement some kind of remote work option for their company.
The solution might be to create a Work From Home agreement between employer and employee that clearly defines the expectations and responsibilities for employees who work from home. It should set the right expectations and create channels and infrastructure that support working from home and reduce the issues that may spring up when you take employees out of the office.
*Statista Report: Work from home and remote work, 2021)
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