Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw a shift in the job market as employers were forced to embrace remote work. Pre-pandemic, some employers offered working from home as a job perk or incentive, but in 2020, remote work became the norm for most employees and businesses.
Will Remote Work Become Permanent?
The big question on most employers’ minds is if remote work will become permanent. Studies show that by 2025, approximately 70 percent of employees will likely be working remotely at least five or more days a month, meaning that 2020 was just the beginning of this growing workforce trend.
According to a survey by Enterprise Technology Research, permanent remote workers are set to double this year. Additionally, employers are seeing that for many employees, remote work is working well.
Big Tech companies are leading the charge on remote work. For example, San Francisco-based Twitter told employees that they can now work from home indefinitely. Square also has adopted a similar policy, as has Facebook.
The Benefits of Working Remote
Many employers see cost savings by having employees work from home. Unfortunately, the first hit will likely be the commercial real estate market since large physical office spaces are phasing out. For example, REI announced they sold their new, unused eight-acre campus built in Bellevue, Washington, as they lean towards embracing a remote work model.
Remote Workplaces Require Additional Engagement
Freelancers are used to remote work and minimal engagement. However, people that thrive in in-office environments have had to adjust their social work expectations. Office settings also strongly provide advancement through relationship building. However, remote work also makes it difficult to highlight professional achievements.
Employees will need to start putting their efforts into virtual and social engagement to help them stand out from other employees. Companies can also get to know employees better by holding virtual events, online meetings and having instant chat programs, such as Slack.
How Remote Work Impacts Performance Management
More organizations are beginning to focus on the amount of work that is done versus the hours worked. As a result, tools and apps that help manage employees’ performance are becoming essential in today’s day and age. Many companies are starting to use applications to make employers see what employees spend their time on to help maximize employees’ efficiency. Examples of performance management tools include Timely, Time Doctor and TransparentBusiness. In the future, it may be necessary for companies to create positions that oversee workflow, production and overall operational efficiencies. Some companies have also adopted ongoing performance reviews rather than going with the annual review approach. Continuous feedback is critical to helping employees navigate their jobs in a remote environment.
Increased Focus on Cybersecurity
As companies embrace a remote work culture, the need for cybersecurity has skyrocketed, becoming a significant concern in 2021. The biggest problem is accessing data safely and effectively. As a result, organizations need to focus on protecting data, equipment and workers from cybersecurity threats.
Embracing Remote Cultures
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that employers can trust employees to work from home effectively. A survey by Mercer shows that 94 percent of employers acknowledge that employee productivity is equal to or greater than before the pandemic, despite most employees working remotely.
The future of remote work also lies in employers adopting new processes and policies that help promote a positive remote work culture.
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