From where we work to how our work is measured, office work will be permanently different after the pandemic. As infection rates associated with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated in March 2020, companies and organizations around the world abruptly sent employees home to work. More than one year later, many of these same employers are confronted with workforces that have adapted to — and learned to love — the work-from-home arrangement. Now what? Hybrid working models are one avenue many businesses may be looking to take in the coming weeks and months as restrictions are eased. In a hybrid working arrangement, there is a mix of people working in the office and from home or other remote locations. This may involve some staff working in the office full-time and others outside of it full-time, or a more flexible schedule where different people will be in the office on different days of the week. Here is a refresher on the lingo for discussing flexible work options and types of workers.
The biggest driver of the pivot to a remote workforce that’s currently underway in our market is that remote employees simply produce better results than their traditional counterparts. While many critics of remote working used to assert that letting employees work from home would drain them of their productive spirit, the past few years have produced conclusive evidence that employees who spend a bulk of their working hours outside of the office are vastly happier and more productive.
Recent research from Gallup, for instance, notes that those workers who spend about three to four days of the week working offsite are substantially more engaged in their jobs than traditional counterparts who are stuck behind desks all day. The logic behind this productivity boost is actually quite easy to understand; by giving workers more control over their personal lives and permitting them to schedule their work-life balance accordingly, companies are making them happier and more fulfilled as they enable Average Joes to become workplace superstars.
Thanks to the fact that more and more people are working remotely, consumers everywhere can say hello to a new era of convenience. With freelance workers and remote employees able to more precisely adjust their scheduling, customers will be able to find an expert on demand at any time of the day. While most businesses close their doors at 5 pm or shortly thereafter, the remote workforce is effectively always available. There will be some challenges to this, naturally; work-related stress may go upwards, for instance, and employees who are working from home will need strict discipline to master work-life balance as the lines between the home and office get blurry. Nonetheless, the benefits of the remote workforce mean that in the near future, we’ll likely see more leaders in a wide variety of industries embracing the concept, especially as automating technologies and cheaper software makes it easier for employees to accomplish great things from far away. Before remote working is universally accepted, however, business owners and everyday workers will need to come together to forge a new work style that accommodates the needs of a distributed workforce.
In general, a company’s two most expensive assets are its people and its real estate. By eliminating the need for real estate, not only do you instantly put yourself in a better financial position, but you also get ahead of the competition. Remote work also allows you to hire from a much larger pool of qualified candidates rather than limiting yourself to those who live within commuting distance of your company’s workplace. A distributed work model is a win-win for most companies, Greg says, “If you can get better people . . . and you don’t pay for real estate, it seems inevitable that you’re going to win unless there’s such a strong benefit to being co-located versus remote.” Not Convinced? Here are some stats from the Owl Labs that prove that not only is remote work is the future, but employees mostly hate in-person work.
Remote work trends tell a compelling story. Employees have a strong desire to have more flexibility in their work life. These trends also show without a doubt that for an increasing number of organizations and employees, remote work is here for good, pandemic or post-pandemic. Whatever your organization has previously done and whatever its reasons for doing so, Managers will need to address this unmistakable shift in working habits and create a plan that works for both the business and its employees people.
For women interested in exploring remote work options in their current field or new opportunities outside of a traditional career structure, Her Money School experienced team can offer an in-depth understanding of LinkedIn and other resources to support a pandemic-era job search strategy.
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