Return to the office in the post-pandemic times is the most debated topic in the corporate world today. While many feel flexible work is the future, others think remote work is not sustainable. Companies that are getting ready to call back their employees are criticized for being insensitive to employees’ needs and ignoring modern workplace trends.
In a survey that was conducted on remote work trends show that only 3% of employees are keen to work full time at a physical office, while the remaining 97% preferred some degree of flexibility between home and office.
“The Great Resignation”, in which more than 47 million US workers quit their jobs last year, is seen as the direct response to the insensitiveness of employers towards employees’ personal needs. This is a classic example of what happened when employers failed to sense the warning signs that appeared immediately after the first wave of the pandemic.
Companies that were planning to get back to the old ways of working were most affected and ones that were quick to react to their employees needs survived this resignation onslaught. The desire for flexibility and remote work has driven employees to seek new opportunities, and organizations that are paying attention to this trend are gaining.
In spite of remote working advantages and disadvantages, companies stand to benefit when they adopt a remote working model, provided they adapt their processes, practices and policies with the new way of working.
Remote work has removed the limitation of geographical boundaries. The increased availability of remote technology and collaboration platforms have made it possible to find and hire entry-level executives to CEOs from across the globe and add more diversity to the workforce.
Gone are those days when companies used to prefer candidates who lived close to their offices. Location-based hiring has now become talent-based hiring. The non-metropolitan candidates, who mostly remained off the corporate radar, are now getting opportunities to participate in the workforce. Remote working is helping companies to the untapped but resourceful talent pool.
Contrary to popular belief that productivity declines when employees work away from the office, productivity increased. Several studies done in the past few months show that remote working has increased productivity and it is better than working in an office setting.
Stanford studied 16,000 workers over nine months and found that working from home increased productivity by 13%. This increase in performance was attributed to quieter and more convenient working environment, working more minutes per shift, fewer breaks and sick days. The same study also reported that employee work satisfaction improved and attrition rates decreased by 50%.
Remote team members accept and attend meetings that are most relevant to them. The meetings agendas and all the appropriate meeting materials are shared in advance. Besides, remote employees are prone to lesser distractions when they work from home. Since the remote employees are in control of their environment, they are more productive and face less distraction.
Remote employees are more focused on their work and hardly get time to indulge in wasteful office gossip. The conversations are always intentional and to the point.
Millennials, who comprise the majority of the world’s workforce, demand a more flexible work environment that extends beyond the confines of the office walls. A survey by Bentley University found that 77% of millennials think that flexible work hours would increase their productivity.
Another study found that the demand for flexibility is directly correlated to age. A remote work statistic shows, out of those millennials who are currently working remote, 62% said they wish to remain fully remote, 32% prefer to switch to a hybrid environment, and only 6% expressed a desire to work in the office full-time. Millennials are even willing to give up pay and delay promotions to get a flexible work schedule.
Cost savings is one of the main benefits of remote working. Worldwide, companies spend money on office rent, water, electricity, Wi-Fi, cleaning, maintenance, coffee shop, restaurant, electronic equipment, gadgets, furniture etc. These expenses can add up to a substantial amount. When companies allow employees to work remotely, they need not incur this expenditure.
In the event of a natural disaster, emergency, or pandemic-like situation, remote working ensures business continuity. During a crisis, the entire team members can work from home using a collaborative application like Clariti. Remote working ensures that all the team members and business operations remain safe and stable.
The remote work model helps to build trust between employees and employers. When employees can have fulfilling lives outside their workplace, it brings a better work-life balance, improving employee productivity and retention.
While Twitter and Slack have asked their employees to work from home permanently, Salesforce just announced its plan for hybrid work. What is more important is that this trend is not going to change anytime soon, and a survey reveals that 44% of the US labor force is still on the lookout for better opportunities. Though some companies offer higher wages and counter-offers to stem the attrition, it is not the compensation that matters; it is all about flexibility and how their employers value them.
Remote employees can manage the schedules that best suit them as long as it doesn’t affect their collaboration with colleagues and they can meet deadlines. Flexibility to choose their timings and being able to spend more time with their families and pets makes them happier. Working remotely also saves time on the daily commute and unnecessary travel and reduces the risk of infection from disease. Remote workers can spend more time taking care of their health when compared with their in-office colleagues.
There is no doubt that remote work is the future and both companies and employees can benefit significantly from remote working. With today’s technology and tools, there’s no excuse for employers not to reap the benefits of remote working like lower employee turnover and higher employee satisfaction, engagement, loyalty and productivity.
Organizations require SaaS solutions built for and housed in the cloud rather than on-premises ecosystems so that their remote workers can access the tools they would typically use in the office via web browsers. A good collaboration platform like Clariti and a steady internet connection are all it takes for successful remote working.
Clariti is a web-based application that can be accessed from anywhere. Clariti brings all emails, chats, calls, to-dos and documents in one app and automatically links related communications in a Workspace. Since Clariti is cloud-based, no installation or download is required. You can sign up with your email id and invite your colleagues and friends to use Clariti.
Being able to work remotely is a great perk of many jobs these days. However, it’s important to stay connected with your colleagues, even when you’re not in the same physical space. First, it helps to build and maintain relationships. If you’re only communicating via email or chat, it’s easy to come across as curt or uninterested. Secondly, staying connected ensures that you’re up-to-date on important company news and developments. And finally, it allows you to be a part of the team culture, even when you’re not in the office. So take the time to call or video chat with your coworkers regularly, and you’ll find that working remotely can be a great experience.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to reevaluate their approach to work. With employees forced to work from home, many companies have come to realize the benefits of remote working. For one thing, it can help to boost productivity. Employees are often able to work more flexibly and efficiently when they are not tied to a traditional office setting. In addition, remote working can help to reduce overhead costs for businesses. With fewer employees needing to be on site, businesses can save money on things like office space and equipment. As a result, it is not surprising that remote working is becoming increasingly popular. It is likely that, even after the pandemic ends, more and more businesses will continue to embrace this new way of working.