Remote work can help businesses save money and cut down on absences. But it comes with some drawbacks.
The majority of the world’s activities was shifted to online formats in the year 2020. However, the most dramatic shift was from working in a traditional office to remote work.
Teleworking is not a brand new concept. In the past it was an option that was only accessible to the most fortunate. However, the widespread adoption of it due to the outbreak became an advantage of modern work. Many businesses already had long-term plans to establish remote workplaces However, the pandemic has increased the pace of implementation.
As the COVID-19 outbreak is beginning to recede and vaccinations are becoming more commonplace Many people would like to work remotely at a minimum, on a part-time basis.
There are advantages and drawbacks to remote work. Here are a few things for companies to be aware of when the world is emerging from lockdowns into an entirely new work environment.
Benefits of remote work
Certain organizations embraced working from home quickly. Others took time to set the systems that allow remote work. Once they got the hang of it, they discovered that this new method of working offered some advantages.
1. A better work-life balance
A common complaint in the present world is the difficulty in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. A full-time job that lasts for eight hours or more per day, there isn’t much time for family time — especially when sleep and commutes are accounted for. Working from home reduces long journeys and allows family time to be spent with loved ones. When employees don’t have to go to meetings via video, they are free to dress in whatever way they want even in pajamas. The greater comfort and a more balanced work-life mix leads to less anxiety.
2. More productive
Remote employees reported stable or improved productivity when working remotely as compared to working in an office as per to an Great Place to Work study. The most significant gains in productivity occurred between April and May, at the peak in the spread of the disease. The reason for this resulted from the removal of commutes every day and long meetings in person.
If you work at home, many factors that contribute to lateness are eliminated or minimized. These include sleeping too much and getting stuck in traffic, and waiting in a lengthy line at the drive-through in order to take a morning cup of coffee. The ability to roll out of bed and get working is an enormous time-saver.
4. A decrease in absenteeism, and a reduction in turnover
Remote work is a great way to aid businesses in keeping employees and reduce absences. If remote workers aren’t shackled by their bosses and feel that their employer is trusting them They tend to have positive perceptions of leadership in the company. This means that employees are less likely to seek out new jobs and will be more likely to show loyalty and loyalty. Even if employees aren’t actively looking for new positions They may be less likely to be called off at any time.
5. Cost savings
Remote teams let businesses rent smaller office space -or even switch to a cloud-based remote operation entirely. This can save businesses money on the cost of rent, utilities and other office equipment.
Remote work lets employees work from anywhere , not only at home. Coffee shops, beaches , and other locations are available. If asynchronous work is a good idea businesses can also extend their operations beyond the typical 9-5 working day. Flexible hours of work can be an absolute blessing for those who work at night or have young children. This flexibility is a boon for businesses looking to extend their working hours with smaller personnel. It’s also a desirable benefit that lets employers make use of a wider applicant pool during the process of hiring.
7. Incentive to upgrade technology in the workplace
The companies scrambled to set up the appropriate tools in place to facilitate remote work after the pandemic started. A lot of companies were operating with outdated software, which forced them to upgrade their equipment. In the past, some companies were already testing the concept of telework, and were better equipped to take on this challenge. However, they were still having difficulty growing from a handful of employees who had remote access to a full workforce.
Businesses needed business messengers and video conferencing platforms, timekeeping software as well as task management systems, and cloud computing services in order to substitute their old technology and physical office processes. They also needed VPNs as well as other security tools to safeguard these systems. At the final point, this technological investment allowed organizations to become more competitive in the business world and put them on level playing field.
Advantages of remote working
Although remote work comes with its benefits but it also has its negatives. There are a few things to think about prior to making remote work a regular feature of your workplace.
8. At-home distractions
There are numerous distractions in the home which can distract the employee’s concentration on their job. A few of them are crying children, the sound of the road, doorbells ringing or dogs barking, as well as chores around the house. If employees work at home, it’s essential to have a designated space as well as access to childcare facilities and the ability to set a timetable.
Remote work, especially for people who live in a home can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness. Even if an employee is in their own space in a physical office space there are other employees in the hallway, elevator , and parking lots all day. They also meet people at cafés, and restaurants during their commute to work as well as during their lunch break. They may just exchange friendly greetings, but it’s an in-person social encounter. Workers who work at home miss the opportunity to engage in these conversations.
10. The loss of balance between work and life
While a more balanced work-life balance can be a benefit however, many telecommuters find contrary. Many employees report that their work spills into their personal lives increasingly. It could start out as something as simple as replying to emails following having finished working to end the work day. If workers don’t take care this could lead to numerous emails, or even additional hours after hours. In some cases, it can turn the eight-hour working day into a 10-hour work day or more. It is when the line blurs between working and home life gets difficult to discern when work is located in the home, which could lead to stress as well as lower levels of morale.
11. Meetings are becoming more important.
When employees of a company are spread across the globe and spread across the globe, management will need to monitor their employees to a certain extent. In a world of remote work that means that managers will not walk around in the workplace to check with their staff. Instead, they must organize virtual meetings to discuss regular projects management issues. While virtual meetings are less disruptive than traditional meetings but they’re not the most enjoyable part of the day. A flurry of meetings can cause frustration for employees.
12. Cybersecurity issues
Security is always top of any business’s priority list. It becomes crucial when an organization is required to support remotely-based working. Security vulnerabilities for a company are increased when you include firewalls, antivirus software, as well as VPN settings for employee’s homes internet connections. The problem is even more challenging when employees work from a cafe or any other place with public Wi-Fiand they connect their personal devices to an enterprise network. Before the concept of remote work is even thought of companies must ensure they surpass security standards to prevent a cybersecurity-related disaster.
13. The difficulty of maintaining confidentiality
The company also has to contend against the risk of privacy breaches. For instance, someone might overhear an unintentional conversation or viewing sensitive documents on a computer belonging to an employee. Companies must emphasize the importance of protecting the confidentiality of their employees, and also consider restricting working in public areas.
14. Unstable/inconsistent internet access
The internet isn’t 100% stable in every second. Apart from internet outages and electrical power connections can fluctuate in terms of speed and reliability throughout the day. Particularly for those living in zones where a lot of others work from home, like apartment complexes or city centers that are packed with people speed is slow as well as buffering issues and weak connection to video and audio are typical.
The issue is further complicated by the lack of broadband internet service across the country. Access to reliable internet is accessible in rural regions. Access to broadband at home is typically less common within Black and Hispanic homes as compared to white houses according to an PEW Research Center survey. Homeowners with lower amounts of education or income are also restricted with respect to quality internet connectivity.
15. Uncomfortable for new hires
Beginning a new career can be difficult for many individuals, even in the most ideal of conditions. New employees in an organization could be overwhelmed when transitioning from a traditional workplace to one that is primarily located at home. They not only have to figure out how to function in their new job and duties, but they also need to be able to navigate the new technologies. In the end managers could be more involved in instructing a new remote worker.
Returning to work
After considering the advantages and disadvantages of remote working, many companies may require employees to return to work. This could be in full-time or a hybrid method. Some employees might be happy with the idea, while others not like the idea. It’s up to an employer’s responsibility to create the transition as smooth and easy for employees as they can. Here are some tips to make the transition easier to work.
Transparency and open communication. Don’t hide plans to return everyone to work in the middle of the weekly memo to employees. Employers must inform employees immediately after they’ve made the decision to return to work. Make sure that your employees know the planned date and are informed when deadlines are achieved.
Give reasons why the change is needed. Employees do not need to know all the details of the plan for transition, but they’ll appreciate transparency regarding the reasons their employer would like them back in the office. They’ll also be more likely to consider the perspective of the company when they have evidence to back this decision.
Inform employees of office changes. Employers should ensure that employees know what they are expected to do prior to returning to work. This could include things like the continued enforcers of social distancing, or the ability to allow employees working from home for one or more days in a week.
Let employees offer their suggestions. A lot of companies took employee suggestions into consideration when entering lockdown. Employees told employers about the tools that could help them complete their work more efficiently in remote locations. Businesses should also seek employees’ suggestions on how to make it easier to return to work.
Take your time. Employers should allow employees to get used to working in an office for the first time. This can be achieved by helping them transition back to regular office work , while working from home for a portion of the time. Additionally, you can ask employees for comments on how to ease any fears or doubts that may arise during the transition. Also, ensure that employees are aware of what services the company has to offer, including on-site daycare services.
Remote work can help businesses save money and cut down on absences. But it comes with some drawbacks.