COVID-19 required just about every person in the world to pivot and adapt in a variety of ways. One of the greatest ways companies had to shift was how they conducted their work. The pandemic brought about remote work options, and, now, a few years after those adjustments, employers and employees are figuring out the best way to conduct business and encourage both job satisfaction and productivity.
The Status of Remote Work
Remote Work Came From Necessity
For many companies, remote work became the necessary way to continue to do business and stay afloat. This adjustment brought a variety of challenges, but most companies that needed to move to a remote setting have found success. Even still, there are elements that, no matter how good a company adjusts, cannot be the same in the remote work setting.
When given the go-ahead, companies began asking employees to return to the workplace full-time or in a hybrid option, which allowed them to mix in-office time with remote time. Throughout the year, companies have made headlines for changing their policies and requiring their employees to adapt to new (or pre-pandemic) expectations. As always, change (or changing back) can be met with some friction.
Mixed Opinions from Workers
While some employees got used to their home offices and remote work set-up, it’s worth mentioning some of the challenges.
- Remote employees may experience burnout from digital communication tools
- Remote workers may feel it is harder to connect to their team and build a sense of community
Even though remote work comes with its challenges, more and more workers want their jobs to have the option for a flexible schedule with the ability to work remotely at least part of the time.
- Remote workers may feel that they can create a work-life balance more easily.
- Some remote workers feel they can be more productive, especially when considering zero time spent on the commute to work.
Insight for Companies to Consider
As an employer, it’s important to understand where employees are coming from in their sentiments toward a fully remote, a hybrid, or a fully in-office schedule. You may want to consider sending out feelers to your company to get their perspective on the options. You can also consider these insights.
- Companies can use monitoring systems that can help track employee productivity. These need to be used with caution to avoid privacy conflicts, but when used ethically, they can provide a great benefit to organizations.
- Employers should provide proper cyber security training so employees can be cautious while working remotely. The company needs to take this seriously and cannot assume that every worker knows this information on their own.
- Remote or hybrid workers may be willing to take a slight pay cut for the flexibility.
Be Open-Minded & Educated
In the end, we know that business will continue to evolve. A few years ago, nearly every company had full-time remote workers. Now we are seeing a shift in mindset from all parties. It’s important that, as an employer, you consider the wants and needs of your employees in addition to the company goals and logistical needs.
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