While telecommuting is an important concept for years now, the truth is that during the last year in a pandemic, more people than ever before got a chance to experience this on their own skin. This experience was eye-opening for a lot of employees and entrepreneurs across the globe and it revealed quite a bit about the way in which coronavirus influenced remote work.
Even more importantly, it might have changed the way in which some industries operate for good. Even after the COVID-19 is no longer that big of a threat, things might never go back to the way they were before.
1. Hybrid working
Working part-time from home in order to leave more room in the office is an overall useful trend that might survive this pandemic. Why? Well, because it makes the office less crowded and less noisy. It also allows keeping the same office with a smaller staff. It’s not just about the COVID-19 either. Every year there’s a flu pandemic and overcrowded offices because countless hours are lost due to sick leave. With a hybrid working model, all of this can become a thing of the past and the effects of such situations can become a lot less severe.
2. Flexible work hours
Some people have a hard time getting up and are just more productive later in the day. So, the tools tracking work hours may completely replace the need for a traditional 9 to 5 model. Generally speaking, a traditional working model is a way it is for two major reasons. First, there are some serious studies out there supporting the idea that the most productive time of the day is the first two hours after we wake up. Second, it gives the workers a lot of daylight left after they get home from work. Still, it’s even better to make this into their own choice.
3. A rise in small group meetings
Even though large meetings are also more convenient this way, it seems that small group meetings (one-on-one and bigger) are getting more and more popular. Seeing as how, in the past, we wasted 31-hour every month in unnecessary meetings, things might have finally made the shift in the right direction. Sure, the amount of time in meetings hasn’t dropped (it might have even increased) but now it mostly takes place amongst the right people and not the general audience in the office.
Sophisticated video conferencing tools have made this easier and more efficient than ever before. Stronger connection and more powerful hardware (microphone and cameras) have brought this experience as close as possible to a meeting in a traditional sense.
4. More freelancers
There are a lot of those who have just now tasted all the benefits of freelancing. Some of these people might make a permanent shift towards such career choices in the future. Others might consider making this their part-time job. Working from home with flexible work hours, or even replacing work hours with deadlines can be quite appealing.
Lack of commute and the freedom that comes from this working model can be as intriguing, as well. The key thing you need to keep in mind is that remote work has some downsides, as well. This needs to be seriously considered before making and decision.
5. A better measure of productivity
Seeing as how there’s less direct oversight of the workforce, the managers are now finally focusing on what really matters – results. In the past, old-school managers gave too much value to things like coming to work early, which do show effort and discipline but don’t really contribute that much to the workload, in general. Also, physical separation between the staff and the manager may make the likelihood of a bias significantly lower than before. This way, a more objective measure of productivity can be established.
6. Creating office culture is harder
While there are a lot of team building activities that you can do online, creating an office culture is a lot harder for telecommuters. When trying to nurture brand loyalty, it’s vital that your employees develop relationships with each other, seeing as how strong the emotion of camaraderie is one of the best motivators. Emotions are far more important than ratio when it comes to loyalty and no number of clever explanations are going to do the trick. The key thing to keep
7.International talent pool
With remote work, employers are finally able to see that hiring an international workforce has so much to offer them. First of all, you have the freedom to set higher requirements seeing as how there’s a better chance that someone will actually pass them. Second, the wages are not the same across the globe. This means that you can get a first-rate expert in their respective field and pay them significantly less than you would have to do with a traditional business model. Overall, there’s a lot for you to consider.
8. Not universally applicable
While this business model is not universally applicable, the fact remains that there are a lot of industries that will be forever changed this way. Even if the workforce has to be present, there are some positions and functions within each company that can still work (or collaborate remotely).
This is particularly important for those in advisory roles. Even some supervisors can benefit from the livestream feature. For instance, if a construction company is operating on several sites, at the same time, an overseer can just join and take a look at how things are going. While it’s not the same as an in-person visit, they can do it far more easily.
In the end, coronavirus shook the business world as we knew it to its very core. However, it also helped flesh out some of the hidden perks of working from home, that numerous industries just failed to take full advantage of in the past. While some can’t wait for things to “go back to normal” others might not be so eager to go back to the offices. This creates numerous opportunities and options for future growth and expansion. The flexibility of the global workforce may just be reaching its new peak.