Remote Work Isn’t Dying Just Yet
For over 83 percent of employees, the remote working perk is a deciding factor when considering a new job offer. 76 percent of employees actually prefer to avoid going to the office when they need to concentrate on an important task. In fact, remote employees are 20-25 percent more productive than their in-office counterparts.
Even with so many obvious advantages, organizations and employees have both struggled with remote work in the past year.
But here’s the thing — remote work wasn’t a choice for most employees. They were forced to work from home due to health concerns, arbitrary lockdowns and company policies. And the new reality has persisted for over a year now. Now employees are burnt out, tired of continuously working from home, and susceptible to loneliness as well as isolation.
This truly begs the question — will remote work eventually die as the world goes back to its previous pace with mass vaccinations or is it here to stay?
Can remote work be permanent?
According to a survey, over two-thirds of remote employees don’t feel engaged at work, and one-third never get enough face-time with their distributed teams even though 40 percent of them wish to build deeper relationships. The same survey also revealed that remote employees are also less likely to stay in the company for a long time. While one-third of in-office employees see their future in the company, only 5 percent of remote employees feel the same. This isn’t the picture of an ideal sustainable work environment and there can be many reasons behind it.
This isn’t what most employees signed up for
Remote work can only prove to be beneficial for your organization when all the employees are readily on board and know what is expected of them. Part of choosing their job and the company is identifying its overall work culture and values.
When organizations switch to remote work without consulting employees and ensuring everyone is on board, it can lead to dissatisfied and disengaged employees which can eventually reflect in their work. While some employees will be excited about remote work and getting the opportunity to work from home, others won’t welcome the change just so easily. The way organizations handle the resistance can make all the difference.
Fewer social interactions and opportunities to network
When you work from an office, you get to interact with your colleagues face to face. Moreover, regular coffee and lunch breaks in the office also give you opportunities to interact and connect with colleagues from other departments. But working from home with limited meetings that all have a set agenda leaves little to no room for employees to have social conversations with their team members, let alone colleagues from different departments. This can make both team collaboration and cross-team collaboration a big challenge.
Siloed knowledge and conversations
When you have a remote workforce, using over a dozen applications to manage work and communication, it can directly lead to siloed knowledge and conversations. With the information spread across different tools, employees will only end up wasting their time just to track down important files and information.
In some cases, employees wouldn’t even know what their team members are up to. Lowered transparency due to siloed data can make employees feel micromanaged or alienated since creating a balance between the two can become incredibly difficult.
Difficulties in onboarding new employees
While it is one thing to take a team usually working from the office and allowing them to work remotely, it’s an entirely different thing to hire a new remote employee for the team. Onboarding remote employees who don’t even get to go to your company offices to experience the company culture and meet their new colleagues face to face can be a big challenge. There is no way for teams to streamline long-term remote work without the right remote onboarding practices in place.
Remote work is sustainable when implemented properly
As per remote work statistics it is clear that remote work is truly the future of work. Organizations get to save money on infrastructure since they no longer need to accommodate employees in offices. Employees also get to have a better work-life balance since they no longer need to commute to the office every morning. Moreover, employees that work from home claim to be 77 percent more productive.
The fact is, remote work isn’t going away anytime soon. Instead, it will thrive. Organizations that offer remote work as a perk will be able to retain and hire better talent, and organizations that don’t will eventually fall behind.
Remote work can help organizations succeed but it all really depends on how it is implemented. With the right remote work strategies, it is possible to get it right.
Determine how employees want to work remotely
Conduct a company-wide survey to better understand how every employee, team, and department wants to work remotely. It’s important to remember that what works for one team might not work for another. When it comes to remote work, you want to give your employees all the support that they need to work seamlessly.
Provide the right tools for remote collaboration
Just offering your employees a laptop and a stable internet connection, and expecting them to work, wouldn’t lead to efficient or productive remote work performance. Your remote employees need the right remote work tools to manage their work and collaborate effectively.
Get feedback from your employees and conduct department-wide surveys to understand the main requirements and challenges faced by employees in order to introduce tools that completely align with their requirements.
Establish rules of remote work
Create and share the remote working guidelines that you expect all the employees to follow. This can include details like:
- The usual working hours and the flexibility that employees will have in creating their own schedule
- Communication guidelines for remote teams
- Remote work tools that should be used during work and their main purpose
- Maximum response time of the employees
Will Remote work is the new normal
Remote work is definitely not dying. In fact, it is set to become the new normal. As we push forward towards the post-pandemic world, more organizations will offer remote working perks and more employees will expect to get remote working opportunities.
But a successful shift to remote work starts with the right remote working culture and tools to back you up in order to achieve optimum productivity. Instead of introducing over a dozen different remote work tools to your already growing digital suite, you can introduce a digital workplace platform like Kissflow to streamline all the processes, projects, cases, and collaboration within the organization.
Kissflow Digital Workplace integrates disparate applications and processes together to make it easier for employees to access all of the work-related data through one centralized dashboard which directly improves efficiency and productivity among remote teams.