The Covid-19 pandemic truly changed the status of remote work as something seen as an added perk to it becoming the norm. Thousands of workers across the globe had to start working from home as lockdown restrictions continued across countries as a response to the pandemic.
It’s been a whole year of this remote work arrangement, and it is definitely not going to disappear even with the pandemic gone. With the invention and gradual roll out of a vaccine, companies do plan to go back to working in office spaces
However the pandemic and its effects on the way of work and the workforce has changed a lot of the otherwise usual practices. It is imperative for HR leaders to study how the trends of remote working have been shaping up before they make any decision, or worse, imposition, to alter the current remote work arrangement of employees.
With one year of the pandemic behind us, now is a good time to study the benefits and pitfalls of remote working under a magnifying glass. Going back to the old way of working is definitely not going to be an easy or smooth process.
With a remote work option, employers can hire the best talent from anywhere. A recruiter can market the available jobs to a pool of people who otherwise might not be interested. For instance, many millennials and GenZ dream of being able to live abroad without putting their career on hold.
This creative workforce becomes more accessible to companies that offer remote opportunities that allow them to change their location if they want. Personal growth and chance to travel matters more to the upcoming generation who will soon be taking over the workforce.
With remote work, companies have lower costs with respect to real estate. With spend on pay unlikely to change significantly, companies are also anticipating that any savings they make will come from real estate, where over a third (37%) are expecting to reduce their spend next year and 60% over the next three years.
Over half (53 also expect savings in 2021 from expenses connected to commuting to work, such as transportation and travel Some of these savings are being channelled into equipin employees to work from home.
Offering flexible work schedules have been a low cost way to help retain employees facing challenging childcare and other responsibilities at home.
While 86 percent of UK employers cited safety concerns for their employees as one of the main reasons for offering remote work arrangements.
Remote work has actually led to an increase in employee productivity and reduced employee turnover. A recent Harvard Business Review study found that output increased by 4.4 percent after a transition to remote work Another Stanford study of 16000 employees found that remote work increased employee satisfaction and helped halve the previous employee attrition rates.
Employees highlighted that fewer distractions at home helps them concentrate and focus better on their tasks. Employees working from home are also able to create their own personalised work environments and schedules, which helps them plan and achieve their goals better.
Without distractions like coffee breaks, long lunch hours and impromptu meetings, employees find it easier to organise their schedule and stick to it.
Working from home or remotely has helped employees save hours of travel time they otherwise spent commuting Londoners are saving the most cash thanks to teleworking, at an average of £57.78 per week which possibly reflects the capital’s high commuting costs.
This is playing a significant role in improving employee health and morale.
Even though high levels of remote working are anticipated in the future, most organisations do not have the current job architecture (45 percent) or job levelling (43 percent) processes to support a flexible workforce.
Over 28 percent of employers do not have the policies in place to manage flexible working arrangements.
Remote working makes it difficult to highlight professional achievements. With remote working becoming the norm, employees might find the need to put extra effort into showcasing their achievements virtually to ensure they have access to new opportunities.
A remote setting can also make it harder for workers to convey their feelings and for employers to identify what their workers are going through. Collaboration via email and devices makes the human touch go missing that can be read only via face to face conversations.