Remote working has inevitably become the new normal in the post-pandemic business environment. Moving forward, businesses should adapt to the change efficiently to thrive in the market for years to come.
The year 2020 will forever be remembered as the year of a significant shift in the business environment due to the global pandemic. The world has witnessed an unprecedented shift in the business environment because of physical restrictions on a group of people working in an enclosed space. Many companies had to shut their offices overnight and adapt to the new way of doing business to survive in the market during the crisis.
Throughout this period, terms like “remote work” and “work from home” became household terminologies, as employees operated crucial business tasks from their homes. Fast forward to the present, remote work remained the preferred way of doing business, with over 76% of employees currently working remotely.
It’s quite apparent that the future of business belongs to flexible work culture with an emphasis on remote work. Businesses need to keep upgrading themselves with new policies and technologies to adapt to the great surge of remote working.
So, let’s take a look at the brief history of remote work, the future of work combining office and remote work, and best practices to maintain productivity in the new era.
The age of remote working is here
The remote working culture was prevalent in organizations even before the pandemic, as over 7 million people in the US were working remotely even before the pandemic. Additionally, over 44% of employees were working remotely at least some of the weekdays in the US according to Gallup’s report.
However, since the declaration of a global pandemic, over 88% of organizations worldwide made it mandatory and encouraged employees to work from home. The biggest challenge for businesses was to manage their employee’s productivity remotely. Especially small and medium enterprises with little knowledge of remote working found it especially challenging to adapt to the new era of business.
Through sheer perseverance and incorporating the right technology, companies slowly coped with this transition with employees garnering a positive attitude towards remote working as they experienced a better work-life balance and boost in productivity. According to a survey conducted by CoSo cloud, 77% of employees said that they’re more productive working from home than in the office. 37% of employees said that taking regular breaks from work has significantly boosted their productivity, which wasn’t always possible during office work.
From the company’s perspective, remote working significantly reduced the company expenses like office rent, supplies, and maintenance. Incorporating technologies like cloud computing and enterprise productivity application made work hours more flexible with a collaborative digital platform, which further boosted the company’s productivity. Remote work also helped in retaining the top talent in the organization as employees preferred remote work at least for a few days a week.
Although it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows with remote work, either. Where on the one hand employees preferred working from home because of convenience, it also built a sense of isolation and loneliness among some employees that missed the old days of working among their colleagues. Additionally, 54% of IT professionals think that overreliance on technology can put workers at a significant security risk.
Creating a hybrid work environment
The global vaccination drive during the first half of 2021 resulted in many offices slowly reopening to allow employees to work just like in the old days. However, the threat isn’t completely over yet. The looming danger of the delta variant is still quite apparent, which makes companies adopt the alternate strategy to get the best of both on-premise and remote work cultures.
Thus, we enter the era of a hybrid work environment, where companies segregate employees into two categories depending on their work structure and risk level. One category includes employees that work remotely and the other category of employees work from the office. This hybrid work approach lets company have the best of both worlds with flexibility and enhances control over productivity.
However, it also poses a challenge of maintaining seamless communication among both categories of employees and ensuring uninterrupted workflow. Thanks to technology, we can easily overcome this issue with some added benefits.
Now that we’ve understood the future of the work environment, let’s look at some best practices to maintain maximum productivity throughout the hybrid work environment.
Best practices for remote and hybrid work environments
- Establish robust safety protocols that adapt to the dynamic business environment and protect mission-critical data throughout business operations.
- Review and revamp old communication tools.
- Get your team involved at every stage of process development to build trust.
- Increase your learning and training budget to make your employees future-ready.
- Select the right collaborative platform that suits your individual business needs.
- Measure employee engagement using collaborative platforms.
- Maintain the flow of work process throughout the organization for both office and remote employees.
We at VBeyond Corporation are more than happy to help you find the right balance in your hybrid workspace by finding the right executive talent that matches your current business needs.