The world witnessed a historic shift in the way we work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, While some companies used to provide the ability to work from home as a luxury, it is now the norm for the majority of businesses, but will it last?
Of course, the return back to office has its own perks, but the future seems to be remote. The question is; How will businesses cope with this change? A survey made by Gartner Reveals that 74% intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently.
You might have heard about Ian Goodfellow, Apple’s director of machine learning, who has resigned after more than four years with the company. He was one of Google’s top AI experts, and he says his resignation is due to Apple’s plan to return to in-person work mode.
I believe strongly that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my teamGoodfellow said in his resignation email
Apple’s return-to-work policies were among the most strict of any major technology company. Google also required most employees to return to their local offices in April, but it is allowing some employees to work remotely indefinitely. Employees at Microsoft who have been approved by their managers can work from home more than half of the time. Employees at Facebook parent company Meta who can work from home can continue to do so if they wish.
Why people prefer remote work?
The concept of remote work seemed a bit unfamiliar at first before the lock-down, but when people actually experienced it, they found some unique benefits that they were not allowed to have before.
Some benefits of remote work
- If you work from home, you can live anywhere since everything will be online.
- Having more flexibility and freedom.
- Having the ability to enjoy an unmatchable work-life balance.
- Saving more money as there will be no transportation or car costs.
- You can work with an international team and get exposed to several skills and diverse cultural backgrounds while sitting at home.
Here are some benefits that remote employees report according to statistics made by Hubspot.
Coping with remote work
An important thing about remote work, is that managers will increasingly focus on work done instead of hours worked which provides more flexibility for the employee.
New management strategies shall be implemented in order to adapt to the new reality. In order to manage remote work efficiently, employers will need to have visibility over what employees are doing in order to maximize the remote work efficiency.
It may be required to develop a new job role, such as Remote Work Manager. Performance evaluations have to be done on a regular basis rather than just once a year. As managers attempt to assist employees in navigating their job duties and meeting performance goals, continuous feedback will become increasingly important.
Businesses must also invest in digital solutions that allow employees to work and collaborate efficiently, because productivity is the key to the future of any business. Nothing kills productivity faster than slow networks, insufficient software, or cumbersome hardware.
Hybrid work strategy
The hybrid model is a combination between the remote and in-person office workplace. Most companies now are using a hybrid work strategy. Rather than forcing employees to choose between working remotely or in an office, a hybrid approach allows employees to choose the best work location for them – with the understanding that it may change. They may choose to work in the office on occasion or from home a few days a week. It is not rigid and allows for plenty of flexibility.
Simply, a hybrid work model combines remote work with office time. Target, Ford, Microsoft, and Amazon have all stated that they intend to implement a hybrid work model in the future.
A hybrid model may provide the best of both worlds by lowering business costs while keeping employees happy, healthy, and motivated.
What the future holds?
According to industry experts at a recent virtual forum, the job market is too competitive to risk losing someone by having an in-office mandate.
Employees nowadays have more power than ever before; if their employer refuses to accommodate requests for different job conditions -such as flexible working-,they can choose to switch to the one that will.
People today really value workplace flexibility and remote work because it allows them to focus their energies on work and life as opposed to commuting– Ken Matos (vice president of research at Life Meets Work)
However, while remote work is becoming more common, it is still only available to certain types of workers being the most convenient to tech workers. Remote work usually requires a reliable broadband connections capable of powering video conferences and a space free from distractions in order to work effectively.
Final words, remote work strategies are still at early stages. Businesses are still new to this mode of work, unpredictable challenges are yet to arise, but the clock will not turn back, and remote work is here to stay, maybe forever.
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