The Covid-19 outbreak has definitely speed up the evolution of work and made the remote work culture the new normal in several business industries. Extensive social distancing has been maintained across the globe, as many countries have been struck by this pandemic.
In fact, people are now used to doing most of their daily activities like learning, shopping, exercising, dining, and relaxing from the safety of their homes or apartments. And the one that currently tops the list of activities from home is: Remote Work.
Since most of the offices across the world are closed, many employees are experiencing doing work from home for the first time. Whereas for many others, remote work is now common, and widely accepted. Considering all the cases, it is quite evident that this remote work trend has begun to show that businesses can also function without the physical presence of the employees.
Although it’s still hard to forecast the future. But time, money and resources saved on infrastructures and commutes are enough to make business rethink the way work can be done.
Is remote working effective?
It was just a decade back when most of the employers were hesitant with the idea of working from home on a regular basis. Their major concern was loss of productivity. How can employees be productive and deliver the best results when not being under constant supervision?
But now, due to the integration of various technologies and employee monitoring solutions like EmpMonitor, the effectiveness of remote work has increased to another level. As per the survey conducted by Buffer, remote work culture has brought immense employee satisfaction which ultimately increases the overall productivity of the business.
So we can say that remote work is effective if we implement it correctly. But, it may not be the best practice for every business or every employer.
How COVID-19 will change the future of work?
The occurrence of a sudden health crisis has created and boosted work from home trend, which has forced many companies to make the transition to remote work culture willingly or unwillingly.
However, the future of remote working trends is still uncertain. But some of the distant working patterns seem to stay permanently even after the social distancing guidelines get uplifted.
Regular workday structure
Getting back to the normal workday structure might take some time for both companies and employees as they need to make some adjustments, but eventually, they will find a balance. Also many barriers around telecommuting are broken now, which could lead to restructuring of what a typical workday looks like.
The future office
After experiencing the financial benefits of having the employees work from home, many businesses are rethinking about altering their expensive office space. So, there is nothing wrong to predict that companies could permanently modify their typical working environment.
Although suggesting that every company should retain an entirely remote workforce is impractical. However, we may reasonably expect from many companies to establish more flexible work arrangements, which will bring more part-time teleworking opportunities. Also, flexible work policies will increase the desire for shared work spaces.
Technology has reinvented how society functions, does business and solves problems. That is the reason most of the organizations have integrated new technologies to remain successful even while having a work from home structure.
Since, teams already developed an understanding of using newly implemented technology during this pandemic, so many of these tools are likely to remain permanently integrated with the businesses.
Productivity tracking tools and other project management tools have been used widely as they help teams to work together, empower managers to improve the workflow and increase the productivity of employees.
Different tools provide different benefits, and with the help of them, everything from communication to customer management and productivity can be measured in real-time. This allows businesses to provide more freedom to their remote workers without actually worrying about losing their visibility in terms of productivity.
So, looking towards the future, the tools that companies are implementing today, because of the remote work transition, are going to stay indefinitely, after this crisis.
Trends in Remote Work to Expect Ahead in 2020
Well, nobody knows what the future holds, but we can definitely get to know the things that can happen in the short term by analyzing the current scenario. Here are a few remote work trends to look out for:
Growth of hybrid workplaces and remote firms
Since most of the companies have now prepared for the remote work structure due to this global pandemic. So, we can predict that the larger and well-known companies will start to experiment with the remote work model in a hybrid environment.
It means, rather than switching completely to a remote-based environment, they will start developing a culture of working from home for a few days and the remaining days in the office. So that companies can also get a chance to address the remote work challenges, communication issues, and other potential productivity concerns.
Remote work tools, services, and resources continue to soar
Currently, there are already so many virtual workplace tools available in the market, and there is no doubt that more such tools will be launched to facilitate the remote-based teams.
Although companies are already using remote-friendly tools for communication and collaboration. But these tools are not something that can be used by the team members located in different places, time zones, to have more in-person like experience and alleviate the isolation challenges they face while working remotely.
So there is a high probability that more such tools will get launched to make the remote workforce management smoother.
Also, as most of the population shifts online, improvements in cyber-security infrastructure as well as policies within the companies, and the emergence of more secured remote work organizations can also be expected.
Additionally, it is also not very unreasonable to anticipate the rise of services like e-sims or mobile hotspots for digital nomads and remote employees so that they can get fast internet access in any part of the world. Besides this, there is already an ongoing trend of coffee shops, eateries, airports, etc providing working space to the remote employees so that they can easily work on the go.
Focus on mental health expected to increase
Remote working does bring a lot of advantages to both employers and employees. But as now it has been experimented on a global level because of the current pandemic, one thing that pops out is the need for employees to feel connected with the company.
While employees work from home, it becomes very difficult for them to interact with their team members regularly which leads to the less cohesiveness within the team. Communicating virtually that too for work makes people feel frustrated after sometime. This is the problem that most of the employers are facing with remote work.
Therefore, apart from implementing video conferences and chat-bots companies will start reviewing their workflows, communication protocols to update them for a hybrid or complete remote work environment.
This way companies can incentivize better communication in their team and avoid potential mental health problems, which is getting increased nowadays due to remote work culture.
Over the past decade, remote work culture has been over a meteoric rise, but the current COVID- 19 crisis has boosted it unprecedentedly. It has become a trend that does not show any signs of slowing down.
Though most of the organizations have already done this digital transformation before. Still there are companies that need to fully embrace it and many are working towards it.
Therefore, we can predict that remote work software, video conferencing apps, and other communication tools will become preferred modes of communication in the future instead of face-to-face meetings.
The technological advancements will continue to grow to put the companies more at ease while managing their remote workforce.
It seems, adapting to the current changes in working pattern may do more good than harm, in the long run.