The days of heading to the office 9-5 are over. The pandemic has told us one thing: employees will never rush back to what they knew once lockdowns & restrictions end.
Companies have no choice but to go remote in response.
In fact, employees are questioning why they had to go to the office in the first place.
90% of employees working from home over the lockdown period want to remain where they are. Even more importantly: 50% of employees in the study want to work remotely for most, if not all of the time. Mirroring that, 50% of IBM employees said the same thing a few months earlier. This has been replicated multiple times by several sources. This is future.
Companies must change their approach or be replaced by those that do go remote.
The Economist spoke to established remote companies and remote-working consultants on how to improve productivity and employee wellbeing. They found that the key to success is to “ditch the reliance on real-time interactions and embrace centralised communication tools that let workers access work on their own terms.”
The 2008 Great Recession saw many US companies downsize their operations to save money. This also allowed employees to work from home. It was encouraged.
But what was born out of necessity turned into a more permanent solution, long after the country recovered. Turns out, they found out there were more benefits of remote working than cheaper office rent.
There have yet to be wide-scale studies of the impact of remote work, but initial studies that have taken place are showing very promising results.
For starters, it’s keeping employee turnover low and increasing productivity.
Employees also save money. A Vox report referred to in this Business.com article shows that remote workers save $4,000 a year on lunch, travel and workwear. Those that work remotely for just two days a week can save over $2,000 a year.
Gartner issued a survey on June 5, 2020. The participants were all company leaders from the legal, finance, real estate and HR industries.
The results showed that 82% of the participants are planning to allow employees to work remotely. For many that have employees working on and offsite, their biggest challenge is adapting their processes for collaboration.
The survey also revealed that 47% of the participants are to allow full-time remote work. Some are making flex time the norm, with 43% saying that employees will be granted flex days and 42% are to be allowed flex hours.
Elisabeth Joyce, vice president of advisory in the Gartner HR practice, said the following:
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a huge experiment in widespread remote working. As business leaders plan and execute reopening of their workplaces, they are evaluating more permanent remote working arrangements as a way to meet employee expectations and to build more resilient business operations.”
The time for remote work is now.
Businesses that fail to adapt won’t just lag behind; they won't survive.
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