Remote working beyond COVID-19
According to estimates, more than 50% of all jobs in the current market can be done in a remote working environment. However, the percentage of employees who actually spend a major chunk of their time working remotely is less than 10%. For many workers, the current Covid-19 situation seems to be setting the stage for a permanent shift from office space to working from home full-time.
Remote workers choose to work from home over the office
Some trends indicate that many of the employees who only ventured into the world of remote work as a result of the pandemic will continue to work remotely once things get back to normal. On the other hand, those office workers who were already familiar with remote working before COVID-19 will be performing more of their tasks from home.
In the last decade, people have increasingly been advocating for more flexibility in the workplace, when it comes to where and when they work. Over the years, multiple surveys have yielded the same result: about 80% of all workers want the choice to work from home occasionally, while many people are even willing to take pay cuts if their company would let them work remotely.
Having said all of this, remote work may not have improved productivity for everyone, since families have been forced to share spaces, dining rooms have become offices and living rooms classrooms. Despite the added distraction of a blended home/work environment though, remote working will undoubtedly to be the future of business.
Remote working encourages higher productivity and less micromanagement
Remote working mostly failed to gain prevalence because of old-school managers. The misconception that workers need to be micromanaged just leads to a lack of trust between management and employees. The recommended strategy for companies is to be more result-oriented instead of reinforcing the ‘look busy, do nothing’ attitude in workers. Now that working remotely and using technology to collaborate have become essential for the survival of a business, managers are accepting that getting results is more important than keeping tabs on remote workers.
Furthermore, managers are learning from experience that working from home does not necessarily lower productivity, and that collaboration is actually easier once remote workers learn to utilize virtual tools. Employees who work remotely don’t arrive at the office already stressed from hectic commutes, nor do they bring family worries into the office space, running the risk of creating distracting environments for other colleagues.
Remote working will still be important post Covid-19
Companies are unlikely to ignore the risks to business by pandemics and natural disasters even after Covid-19 is over. Remote working will likely be incorporated into organizations so that work can go on during lockdown, pandemics, extreme weather events etc. Any company that suffered huge losses because it didn’t see this pandemic coming will certainly make sure that the mechanisms for remote work are in place and that both employees and employers are well-prepared so that work goes carries on smoothly.
Investing in talented remote workers instead of real estate
Cutting costs without compromising on quality is a major goal for most companies. Working remotely allows them to hire talented remote workers while saving on overheads like office rentals and utilities. Indicators have clearly shown that office space is rarely used efficiently during working hours, so investing too much in real estate is clearly an unnecessary expense. There is no other way forward for those who survive through the pandemic besides devising new strategies to facilitate working from home.
Working remotely to reduce commute and travel costs
Very few remote workers cite climate change as their reason for working remotely, but across the world, we’re seeing a significant reduction in pollution, as people are travelling less. Workers now have evidence that a small step can actually make a hugely positive difference to the environment. This realization should be a key motivation for companies who want to create a more sustainable lifestyle and work ethic.
What this pandemic has also exposed is how inefficient and unnecessary business travel can be. Remote workers can easily attend virtual meetings, so companies can spend much less on business commutes and international conferences. Sure, meeting in person may have certain benefits, but looking at new ways of meeting people and saving on these expenses is usually a bigger incentive for employers. Both companies and remote workers stand to benefit financially from remote work by cutting costs, saving on personal expenses and have much more time to spend with family.
Remote working with Australia PEO
Australia PEO (Professional Employment Organisation) can help your business adjust to remote working, particularly for businesses who employ in Australia without a local entity. APEO has been managing remote work for companies globally, long before this situation arose and forced more employers to adopt remote working practices.
Get in touch with Australia PEO to find out more about remote work management and how it can be streamlined to ensure high productivity and smooth operations.
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