Last updated on September 28th, 2020 at 02:54 pm
A global survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. found that 88% of business organizations all over the world have adopted work-from-home policies since the start of the spread of COVID-19. Working from home is definitely helping us fight through this crisis, however, the real question – Will Work-From-Home still be relevant in the long run even after the virus? Have we inadvertently come across an effective way of working in the future?
BigTech firms have shared their long-term plans of going remote at least partially. Mark Zuckerberg said, “We are going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale” while declaring that by 2030, at last half of Facebook’s 50,000 employees would be working from home. Companies are definitely exploring the option to give employees the flexibility to work on their own terms, where they feel they are most productive.
Work-From-Home has had its own advantages both for the business and the employees. To start with, this is the first time for many companies to collaborate virtually but majority of employees have been able to communicate and operate effectively without any effect on productivity. In fact, in a lot of cases, employee productivity has actually gone up.
Businesses and employees have also had significant financial benefits. Companies save on office space, travel and cost-of-living adjusted salaries for workers while employees tend to save on daily meals, transportation and other daily expenses. Lastly, the flexibility given to employees has definitely helped boost morale. Not spending all their waking hours in office and doing virtual meetings rather than spending days and weeks on road to travel, is helping employees be more satisfied and to work better, hopefully resulting in a higher retention rate.
While this new norm seems to be very lucrative, there are some challenges that businesses certainly need to address. These are unreal times and what has worked now might not necessarily be the best long-term strategy.
There are considerable amount of people who would still want to regularly go to office due to distractions at home. Companies also need to ensure they have good collaboration tools to achieve good communication, while retaining the creativity and productivity of the employees in the long run. Working from home is especially difficult for people who are new to the company and have never physically met their team members or have never been accustomed to the culture and values of the company in-person. Thus, companies need to be very tactful while defining their new rules and norms.
This being said, according to current predictions, remote work is here to stay and this is the new normal. However, the exact strategy around it entirely depends on the particular company, its vision of the future workforce system and its long-term goals. It is for the company to take this challenge as an opportunity and effectively implement strategies while developing and adapting quickly using the right collaboration tools to create an effective virtual workplace. With Technology being the core of the change and the increasing number of virtual workplace solutions, companies need to pick the right solutions that lets them collaborate, communication and operate just like before while moving forward.
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