In recent years we have seen a major shift in office culture due to the current pandemic. Many companies have transitioned to work-from-home or hybrid, a mix of working from home and the office, working options. Some companies, however, are doing their best to create more flexible working environments as what works for one company, may not work for another. Factors like the sizing, the structure, and the sector of the company are needed to take into consideration.
As the restrictions put in place lift, many businesses have or are considering going back to fully onsite working, but I urge company leaders to take a moment and think about how intentionally putting long-term remote work strategies in place could actually leverage your company.
Besides the obvious benefits of working from home such as, people getting to keep their jobs and companies get to stay in business during the pandemic, workers also have less of a commute time which means more time in the day for working and less money spent on transportation.
It also means workers can live anywhere they want as long as they have access to good internet connection and employers can broaden the hiring pool as they have access to employees from around the world. The world also benefits by having less pollution circulating through the atmosphere. According to Vox, 99% of workers currently working from home would like to continue to do so for the rest of their working lives and 95% say they would recommend remote work to their friends and family.
Remote work can also be a huge plus for many companies as you can save money on brick and mortars, turnover rates are low and people are taking fewer sick days. Adopting this strategy helps companies and employees alike avoid work interruptions due to sudden school closures and childcare for working families, transportation problems, weather, and more.
While working from home has many benefits, many companies are hesitant because of some of the challenges that will incur during the shift such as cyber security, communication and interaction, a healthy remote work climate, and more. In order to transition to a remote workplace you may want to take into consideration:
- What is the right mix of remote work for your company? This will determine how much and what kind of office space you will need.
- What are your company polices and can they be adopted to fit remote work? This can be such as setting a device policy that covers the security of the company.
- What is the experience of the workforce, the nature of the work and the employee preferences?
- Which HR policies will need to be updated?
- What kind of new training will need to be offered? This can be transitioning to collaborative workplace tools like Trello, Slack or Asana. Due to the pandemic, many companies and employees have realized how easy and beneficial it is to transition to remote work and as a business owner, ensuring your employees have a great balance between work and life is vital to a company’s success. According to a Vox report, 70% of the workforce could be working from home by year 2025. This trend was already taking place before the pandemic but now, along with advances in technology and the economics and convince factor, people are turning towards the remote work strategy more than ever. Now is the time to take into consideration and prepare your business to create the most optimal workplace for employers and employees alike.