Over the last pandemic year, most workplaces have transitioned to remote working, or at least a hybrid of work and home office. This isn’t practical for all industries, like construction, but most office-based roles have switched to a remote environment.
Businesses have had to adapt on the fly to this new environment, undergoing years of digital change in a very short time. Some predict that the remote working trend will continue after the pandemic has passed.
This article will discuss the evolution of remote work and the importance of optimising your technology to fit a new paradigm. It will also pose the question whether remote work is here to stay.
A changed workplace environment
Before the pandemic began, many workplaces didn’t allow remote working. Who could have realised or even capitalised on the benefits of changing such a fundamental part of life back then.
Office working is never questioned and not many businesses were prepared to experiment. Now, employers are seeing benefits in real-time, with staff often being more productive, and enjoying a better work/life balance.
The benefits of remote work compared to a traditional workplace environment are numerous:
- Reduced travel expenses for company and staff
- Less stressed and time-rich employees from lack of commuting
- Employees can be flexible on their hours, working when actually required or to suit business demand
Reduced travel expenses
For most employees, the transition to remote work has reduced or eliminated travel expenses altogether. This allows staff to save more of their salary, but also cuts down on admin, and other associated costs.
Less time wasted on commuting
Employees are saving countless hours each week from the stress of commuting, making for a more focused and productive workforce. It also creates a better work/life balance which further increases motivation to work. The additional expense on fuel and vehicle maintenance is also avoided.
Employees can work when the business needs them
This won’t obviously apply to all workplaces. However, some employees can now work when required and are therefore more prepared to be flexible. In a traditional office environment, when an employee has finished for the day, they’re forced to watch the clock until official close.
Now, some employers are allowing workers to work flexible hours as long as they work their contracted hours for the week. Once again, this enables employees to work when they are most motivated, or when most needed, making for better quality of work.
According to a recent UK Times article, “34% of adults say they are putting in longer hours” working from home.
Optimising change with technology
The evolution of remote work and the shift to digital change has occured in a very a short period of time. Businesses have had to adapt quickly and transition their businesses online. This has been particularly painful for some that have never been online to begin with.
Although the digital transition was slowly happening before, the pandemic pushed many organisations to embrace technology to survive. For example, a simple switch that many have made was to use cloud platforms or invest in custom software that can be run remotely.
Technology is constantly evolving, so it makes sense to stay ahead of the curve. Taking advantage of numerous productivity platforms such as Monday.com that creates a collaborative workplace environment is just one smart move. And consider webchat tools like Zoom for employee social events as well as being a tool for formal meetings.
Remote work is the future
Although lockdowns will soon be a thing of the past, remote work is likely to remain in some form once people are allowed to return to work.
Over the last year, employers have witnessed the benefits first hand of remote work, including reduced overheads (office rents, supplies, energy savings), increased productivity, and more motivated employees.
It’s likely that many firms will retain a hybrid approach where employees are in the office certain weekdays and working from home on others. This would be ideal, giving office interaction while also allowing both employers and staff to enjoy time, cost and health benefits.
Stay ahead with custom software
In conclusion, while remote work may have been forced upon most businesses, it may become part of a new norm. Many were sceptical in the beginning, but employers have witnessed hidden benefits not only for staff, but also themselves.
At BSPOKE Software, we recommend keeping up with technology at all times and upgrading it regularly for both good and uncertain times. Investing in technology that best serves your workplace and customer environment is the key to staying afloat and thriving on change.