Companies are considering permanent moves towards remote working. These regulations offer advantages and disadvantages for general and administrative functions.
Among the myriad alterations due to global pandemic, by far the standout single is remote work. In a remarkably social world, working at home in isolation was strange and difficult for many at first. Looking to the future after the pandemic, many companies are planning a hybrid virtual model that combines remote work with time in the office. This sensible decision follows large productivity gains during the pandemic.
Given the differences between the archetypes, it is important to reflect the pros as well as cons of remote working in each one, and not just how remote working affects each role, but how it affects employees in general. When looking at the opportunities and risks, it should be noted that some could have an even bigger impact than companies have seen so far.
Remote working: Benefits
The benefits of working remotely tend to emphasis on the profitability businesses can achieve and the flexibility it gives employees, but many of the less visible benefits come with long-term strategic benefits.
Professionals with more firepower
Traditionally, the size of the location and the proximity to internal interest groups have determined the meeting point for the experts. Remote models make these factors less relevant, allowing professionals to extend their influence across the company.
Business partners can more easily serve several businesses areas - actually be in multiple places at the same time. For instance, an industrial company has started moving most of its business associates from headquarters and regional offices to a more convenient location and holding regular joint work meetings. This change will help reduce the company's overall cost structure while also providing more career development opportunities for high potential employees in the support centers.
Access to a wider talent pool & working effectively
By easing geographic restrictions, working remotely dramatically escalates the number of prospective candidates a company can inducement from. This allows companies to gain access to skills over time that are not available in local talent pools.
In addition, the ability to find employees anywhere provides companies the capability to work across different time zones and extend support times for critical initiatives.
Less expenses for workplace services
Businesses can optimize fixed costs like real estate, utilities, and workplace services such as cafeterias, safety, and transportation. In case of American manufacturer of advanced industries, it estimates that it will reduce its annual office space by 20 percent and its real estate costs by 40 percent.
While some of these savings will inexorably be offset as companies support their employees adapt to working remotely, those costs are likely to be overshadowed by potential savings.
Greater employment pipeline
Not only - when it comes to remote or distributed teams, you get access to a much larger pool of talent to hire. This makes it easy for companies to hire players, highly specialized roles, and even short-term qualified employees. However, remote working an extremely attractive hiring perk.
Offering new employees, the choice and flexibility to work from anywhere, skip the journey and build an incorporated life expectancy around their work is something that resonates with today's workforce.
In a survey on the current state of teleworking, 54% of employees would switch jobs to find a job with more flexibility, and around 98% of employees, at least temporarily, would work remotely for rest of their careers.
Remote working: Challenges
While working remotely offers many opportunities, maintaining a remote model carries risks - Most of these can be possibly mitigated, but such measures should be an integral part of the transition to remote working, whether as part of a full-time or hybrid approach.
Complexity in adjusting to new norms
For previously hired employees, the sudden transition from face-to-face interactions to online management practices, many of which are streamlined and flexible, such as daily reports, discussions, visual management, and routine work reviews, can be challenging. Interpreting body language can create virtual communication and coordination challenging.
Digitizing practices and workflows in order to embed standards in workflows, can minimalize some of the restrictions of virtual interactions applying online platforms - involving video conferencing and work management tools. It is just as important to reimburse attention to the organizational aspects of meeting management including the establishment of basic rules and clear common goals.
During the crisis, top cybersecurity experts responded as companies moved to new processes and technology with a focus on three activities: assessing and removing hot spots, repairing, and cleaning operations, and empowering incremental digital profits. Efforts in each area are simultaneous and continuous.
As employees began to work remotely in less protected environments and, in many incidents, with less reliable personal equipment, security teams faced immediate operational, development and technology breaches related to responding to the pandemic and moving to remote work shut down.
Many workers, particularly part-time, low-level, or entry-level workers, may not have the opportunity or the means to work effectively from home. Adequate connectivity can be prohibitive or split among several household members. Additionally, the employee's home office may not be productive or provide the privacy necessary to carry out sensitive work.
Less personal interactions in business associations and influencing roles can have undesirable psychological effects. Even prior to the pandemic, some companies realized that remote work schedules can instill an “always” mentality that can exacerbate employee burnout and mental health issues. Less structured working hours, which are common among local employees, business partners and the competence center, make them particularly susceptible to these risks.
Remote work appears to stay here. Without a doubt, working remotely carries risks. But companies can face them and mitigate them with caution and pragmatism. A conscious and personalized approach that combines form with function will help businesses realize the many powerful yet often unrecognized benefits that remote working can offer.