The future of working remotely in a Post COVID era
COVID-19 has sculpted the world in a way we could only imagine. Remote work is more than just a job perk. Nowadays, it is the go-to option for both employers and employees. Although COVID 19 cases have reduced with the introduction of COVID vaccines, there is no going back to the 9 to 5 drenching work hour. But, thanks to the flexibility and 13% increased productivity of our new “normal”, remote work is here to stay.
That’s not it; a big reason why most employees are eager to adapt to remote working is that remote working supports claims made by thought-out leaders like Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Workweek, who proved how flexibility and freedom could lead to improved motivation and productivity.
Why work remotely in the future?
Let’s start with the basics. If we look at the bird's-eye view, 82% of enterprising US businesses and 66% of mid-size businesses are moving towards the “hybrid guided flexibility” work model in 2021, according to CBRE. And that’s mainly because 95% of workers are resigning from traditional jobs to pursue the freedom of remote work.
While many businesses are opting for remote work policies even after COVID 19 cases have reduced, quite a few organizations still prefer to work the traditional way. Such flexible policies give rise to freedom of choice and the need for shared workspaces.
Most big names like Shopify, Facebook, Twitter, and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co have also announced remote job openings to offer more flexibility for their employees. Besides that, considering how people have also released and installed remote working infrastructure across their company, employers are more inclined towards the benefits of remote working.
Benefits of working remotely
Every endeavor starts with a strong “why.” Here, the pandemic can’t always be the reason why your company may continue to work remotely. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the benefits it works to help you decide for your business.
Here are some of the reasons why businesses may want to work remotely beyond the pandemic:
Companies will need less office space and infrastructure, thus a dramatic reduction in costs;
Higher employee productivity and freedom;
Increase corporate culture that can align with employee needs;
Better work, life balance;
Advanced software helps increase engagement;
Optimize company costs by reducing office rentals;
Hire employees from specific countries to suit the company’s target market;
Increase individual and team productivity;
Change in customer buying habits can open new market opportunities.
Jobs that can be done remotely
Your potential to work remotely doesn’t depend on your occupation, but on the regular duties and responsibilities you have. Theoretically, if your job requires personal service like a hair salon, location-specific machinery like a CT scan, and other on-site tasks like interacting with customers in the stores may require you to stick to the traditional work life. While tasks like counselling, coding data, teaching, writing, negotiating, and online customer service may work best by working remotely.
Therefore, depending on your work, you can either go for remote or traditional work. Some organizations also allow hybrid working conditions where you only visit the office once or twice a week.
How to improve efficiency while working remotely
Armed with basic hardware and a stable internet connection, you can now put your best plans into action—all without having to travel for hours. Here are some of the ways you can combat inefficiencies and make the most out of remote work.
1. Improve performance management
Big ideas require an army of qualified team members and that comes with its own set of challenges. For starters, managing a team's daily progress and guiding them right before they start the work, can help you save both time and money. Luckily, as remote work increases, major apps for performance management like Workday and Zoho make it effortless to only focus on work done instead of wasting time counting hours. These tools increase employees’ efficiency and help you hire new workers based solely on their performance merit. This is because most of the high-level managers stay in their jobs because of the reputation instead of their merits. With the help of good software and a well-strategized management system, you can create a more efficient work environment.
Communication is key to any successful business. Whether it is getting your management team on the same page or conveying your 70-slide content marketing strategy, a long chain of emails can be daunting and jumbling. Because of this, your remote workers don’t have a sense of belonging to the company.
You can eliminate this by making your employees attend virtual events, boosting enthusiasm, and conducting frequent meetings to encourage your team members to be open about their ideas and work. A survey conducted by Mercer also indicates that 94% of employers noticed the productivity was the same or higher after they pivoted to work remotely with employees.
3. A smarter way of not micromanaging
As you work remotely, you may have the urge to manage every part of your team's progress. The instinct to stay on top of your employee’s progress, every hour of the working day is what we call micromanaging.
A smarter way to do this is to trust your employees. You can also allow your team members to create their own schedules and align their availability status with your operations before creating business strategies. This way, you can prioritize your employee’s mental health and stay aware of their progress.
Besides that, try to arrange regular meetings to encourage your employees to take ownership of their tasks and make decisions. Remember, demonstrating open-mindedness is much more important than simply saying, “let me know if you have any ideas.” This way, you can stay genuine and encourage fresh ideas. If everything goes well, try sending physical “thank you” notes to express your gratitude for their success and hard work.