Remote work. Here to stay?

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Many Human Resource managers talked for years about remote working. Until Covid19, it wasn’t something to be considered. There was no efficient technology, something in this sense to replicate the work environment and make everybody feel they still belonged to a corporate team.

The pandemic forced protocols to be set in place, making remote workstations more efficient. Now that we see the light beyond the tunnel regarding the virus, some companies have resorted to hybrid employment. The teams meet at the office one or two days a week and continue to work from home the rest of it.

But: Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon in an article for BBC News, described this model as “an aberration that we’re going to correct as soon as possible…” “and there have been reports of English civil servants having their pay cut if they don’t return to their offices.”

“Culture is a key driver for organizations looking to get workers back on site for most of their time. There’s a concern that working remotely simply doesn’t fit with the ethos of these workplaces. There’s also a worry that new, younger workers will miss out on an apprenticeship process that can’t be replicated virtually”.

“And, despite evidence suggesting otherwise, there may still be a sneaky feeling that business leaders can’t trust remote workers to do their jobs along with worries about general productivity.” (Solomon, n.d.)

There are many advantages to remote working, and here we have a list.

  • Organizations can recruit from a bigger pool of talent. Without the constraints of geography and the new collaboration tools that have become a staple on computers, HR can find people that fit the job profile close to being perfect regardless of gender, ethnicity, or even age.
  • No time-zone barriers, fewer limits.
  • If you know you cannot meet with the team, but once a week, you know you have to make the best of that time together, thus, more productivity, quality socializing, and collaboration.
  • The employee spends less time commuting, thus more productivity and less stress. The flexibility that comes with such an option is something workers want at least some of the time, according to one survey. (Workplace from Meta, n.d.)[1]

“As businesses reopen their physical spaces, many employers are choosing to retain some level of remote working.” According to a McKinsey survey, around 90% of organizations intend to combine remote and on-site working as part of their long-term plans.

Most employees now have an effective office set-up at home, and the pandemic has proved that remote work can be practical. But while remote workers have maintained productivity, they may have lost the sense of personal contact and connectedness they need to flourish.

Hybrid work is a way to have it all – the autonomy of remote working and the social and cultural advantages of in-person contact. We’ve yet to see how the model will play out in the long term. Policies, practices, and collaboration technology will evolve as organizations find their feet with it.

How productive and efficient can an employee be when they’re not under constant supervision by co-workers and supervisors? 

To better understand this, Airtasker surveyed 1,004 full-time employees – 505 of whom were remote employees – throughout the U.S. about their work habits and productivity. The results indicate that remote workers are more productive than their office-based counterparts, Also: 

  • Remote employees work an additional 1.4 more days per month than in-office employees, nearly 17 additional workdays a year.
  • Remote employees take longer breaks on average than office employees (22 minutes versus 18 minutes, respectively), but they work an additional 10 minutes daily.
  • Office workers are unproductive for an average of 37 minutes a day, not including lunch or breaks, whereas remote employees are unproductive for only 27 minutes.
  • 15% of remote workers said their boss distracted them from work, which is less than the 22% of office-based employees who said the same thing. 

In a Fast Company article written by Jared Linzon, remote work software, like mobile work tools and virtual reality conferencing, will become the preferred form of communication – even over face-to-face meetings.

  • Remote tools will become standard.
  • Remote workers will do even more work.
  • Drum rolls for VR Conferencing (Cisco recently presented their “Telepresence product,” enabling life-sized interactions. Stephan Kazriel told Fast Company that he believes the future of remote communications “is in augmented and virtual reality, which is pursued now at a more affordable price.
  • Communications will not come through a single platform. Instead, companies will work with Google Docs, Slack, and GitHub for code storage.
  • Cal Henderson, a co-founder of Slack and CTO, told Fast Company: “We’re never going to make the best possible word processor or the best possible wiki or the best possible voice and video calls or the best possible file storage, because for different use cases and different business customers, ‘the best’ has different meanings.”
  • “If an enterprise today uses 1,000 tools, God forbid maybe it will be 2,000 tools five years from now, not just for the sake of fragmentation, but because they help people be individually more productive,” he says.
  • AI will manage remote staff. (Linzon, 2018)

Instead of resisting the change, organizations should improve their remote work policies and capabilities. Suppose your company is concerned about productivity and performance issues due to a companywide ability to work from home. Lambert recommends creating standard key performance indicators (KPIs) for management and employees. She said that remote team members are aware of expectations, and their performance can be monitored. (D’Angelo, 2022)

Sounds exciting. Doesn’t it?

[1] (Workplace is a business communication tool from Meta that helps teams stay connected and secure. With familiar features like Live Video and Groups, you can share information, engage your employees, build culture and connect your people anywhere, anytime).





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