As much as the Pandemic has changed the way organization’s function, it has also shaped the way employees interact with and execute their work. A satisfied employee is generally a productive one, and with all the changes happening in the world, employees have a new set of rules that companies are adhering to and a new approach to reaching their own internal professional goals.
While for some professionals in certain fields such as, the healthcare industry and transportation, remote work is not an option for obvious reasons and individuals are looking for new ways to manage day to day tasks in a safely, contingent environment – but for the most part, remote has been the way organizations are functioning while keeping their workforce safe. Look below where we will be going through new trends that have emerged as a result of the pandemic for the workplace to remain sustainable which we expect to last for quite some time given the end of the pandemic not being visible at this point in time.
Employees are now more likely to prefer working remotely than working onsite- we tend to be creatures of habit to an extent and we’ve been living within this pandemic long enough to birth new habits for most – and work from home is one of the many. Individuals now want more flexibility in terms of where and when they work. Not only is it easier to work remotely given all the external factors that eat up time such as, commuting, but people have also found themselves to be more productive working remotely than having to work from a confined space. Since organizations will have to work on DE&I, a person’s geographical destination will not be a barrier when it comes to hiring, giving more new opportunities to people around the world. People who didn’t have the opportunity to work in certain companies due to geographical barriers now have the chance to do so.
With the undeniable growth in technology, staying connected amidst a pandemic is not an issue anymore. Research has shown that 73% of employees feel more connected to their direct managers and seniors when working remotely than when working in an office. When employees see their companies empowering them with solutions and aiding the communication processes virtually, they have shown to perform more efficiently, leaving them with more room for innovation. It not only gives them time to deliver quality worthy work, but it also gives them space and trust to work independently without having a rigid hierarchal means of work.
Quality over quantity
Gone are the days that employees are overworked. While a few years ago employees were mostly held accountable for the amount of work they completed, nowadays, the tables have turned. Employees are requesting to be assessed on the quality of the work they deliver, instead of the volume they expect to deliver, given the remote lifestyle change.
Upskilling internal talent
Digital learning programs have been and will continue to be a key component across all organizations to adapting to the change. Employees are expecting to gain the newest form of skills and knowledge from their HR professionals. Companies are expected to provide their internal talent the latest and most sufficient digital platforms for their employees to continue thriving and performing their absolute best.
Downfalls of Remote Work
Although remote as we know it is an evolving concept, and while there are many arguments in favor of it – on the flip side there are some downfalls to be considered. It’s important to consider all aspects of the set up before taking the plunge so you are best prepared to handle them. Independent contractors may be a bit more prone to experiencing some of these drawbacks which include:
- Unpredictable income: As flexible as working from home is, it also comes with inconsistent workflows sometimes. Some months might be loaded with work, while others are not and depending on your set up with your organization, that might cause a fluctuation in salary. This is specifically important for independent contractors and freelancers to consider. Make sure you know what your set up is and expected volume of work to the best of your ability beforehand.
- Lack of boundaries: Strictly separating personal and work life is not as easy as it seems nor as easy as it may have been. It can be a challenge to establish a working schedule if you were used to depending on having physical presence at work and a change in physical environment that fosters your work flow. The mere idea of being available at home all day may make you vulnerable to attending, responding, and engaging with your family during work hours, which is not the most ideal, nor productive scenario. On the contrary, you may also overwork yourself as your home office space is always just a few steps away at any point in time, so you need to be aware in order to avoid burning out. A proper schedule and extensive self-discipline truly make working from home a feasible productive arrangement, and consequently the lack there of quite the opposite. Should your employer not have a formalized daily objective system, it could be worth it to implement one for yourself to ensure your productivity and movement towards your mandated deliverables.
- Lack of community: To go from having several co-workers and staff members to being alone on a laptop screen all the time might be a bit of a disappointment for some. Not being able to see your team every day and engaging with them like before can cause a loss of connection amongst each other and create a lack of community. Work culture can truly nurture a creative environment which is challenging to re-create remotely without actively putting in a great deal of effort to virtually maintain work environments.
- Difficultly in communication: While it may be a bit more manageable for co-workers to communicate – especially if they worked together pre-pandemic – things are more challenging when it comes to managing communication with clients. When a client has an issue and there are no in-person meetings, resolution may be a bit more challenging. Being that communication tends to be clearer in person, or at least face to face, one should consider the importance of video calls as oppose to depending on email and calls which sometimes are too welcoming of miscommunications/misunderstandings. Daily, weekly or biweekly video calls should be scheduled and prioritized – of course the frequency would vary as per your business needs. These meeting should not only occur when there is a fire to put out, but frequent video calls could work to avoid issues resulting from gaps in communication.
Difficult to manage: The most obvious reason why remote work can be difficult, is because an employer can’t watch or manage a team closely as would a physical team would be. No more