Remote work was rare a decade ago and was only available as a special arrangement to accommodate families in specific cases. However, with the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the number of people working from home has increased dramatically. The outbreak prompted many organizations to shift to a remote work model to prevent the spread of the virus.
Remote Work Statistics
- In May 2020, over 60% of American employees worked from home from the pre-pandemic 5%.
- 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022, and remote opportunities will continue to increase through 2023.
- Remote workers work an additional 1.4 more days per month than in-office employees, which is nearly 17 additional workdays per year.
- On average, remote employees take longer breaks, but they work an additional 10 minutes daily.
- 40% of workers believe they’ve been more productive while working from home.
- At least 75% of workers never worked remotely, which explains the booming interest in remote work.
Benefits of Remote Work
Corporate money savings
Savings came from reduced energy usage of heating and air, the electricity required to power computers, and other technology. According to a study, organizations can save up to $2,000 for every employee that goes remote.
Increase employee productivity
Research shows that employees who are able to work from home have a performance increase of at least 22%. Remote employees feel more positive and fresh in the morning when they start their work.
Decreased employee turnover
Productivity increases and employees experience benefits such as skipping the daily commute to the office.
Better work-life balance
Employees don’t need to spend hours in traffic every day, which helps them spend more time with their families.
Traditionally, employees are expected to work eight to nine hours daily from the office. Employees cannot run personal errands or complete other personal tasks. In contrast, those who work from home get more flexibility to create their own schedules.
Organizations can hire anyone, anywhere. There is a global talent pool they can tap into. The success of an organization will be less determined by the strength of the local labor market.
Challenges of Working From Home
While many remote workers argue that they have a better work-life balance, a significant majority also struggle with ending their workday.
No face-to-face connection
It can be challenging for newly remote teams to work together. An employee can struggle due to reduced guidance and feel left out when remote managers are out of touch.
Lonely and isolated
In the office, you spend time with the people around you and even talk to employees from other departments, but working remotely, all alone, can be incredibly isolating and lonely.
There are fewer chances of employees talking to each other about random day-to-day things. These conversations may seem unnecessary, but they help improve team coordination and communication.
Remote Work Strategies
Cloud Migration Strategy
Optimizing the remote strategy is to digitize and convert internal business processes into streamlined workflows and move them to the cloud. This helps improve overall efficiency and transparency within the organization. Employees working from home can check assigned processes and review any changes made in real-time.
Right remote work tools
Organizations need tools that align with organizational goals, culture, and employee needs. Embrace software minimalism and use as few tools as you can in order to improve employee efficiency, save costs, and streamline remote work collaboration.
Set up all components of remote work
Provide asynchronous and synchronous communication channels. Asynchronous channels allow teams to have detailed, ad-hoc, and long-drawn real-time conversations. These can include emails, online forums, collaborative documents, and more. Synchronous communication includes video calls, audio calls, and instant messages.
Incorporate contextual collaboration
Incorporate all online collaboration tools together and access them through one interface.
Gage employee engagement
Take a bottom-up approach and ask employees what they think about working from home. Managers can set up one on one meetings.
COVID-19 has brought uncertainty across the globe and has forced massive experiments. Fighting the change may do more harm than good. Many employees now expect remote work opportunities, and organizations that offer employees the opportunity to work from home are more attractive than those that do not. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 37% of remote employees would take a 10% pay cut to continue working from home.
Many employers believed their workforce would be easily distracted at home, and managers couldn’t keep an eye on their direct reports. However, the world will be working remotely for a long time. Organizations should improve their remote work policies and create standard key performance indicators for management and employees to create expectations. The shift to more remote work will positively impact how we work.
Written By: Kia Yang, Resource Center Director
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