In a latest PwC survey of 133 U.S. firm executives, 83% stated remote work has been a hit, but solely 13% are ready to quit the workplace for good. At the identical time, nearly all of each executives and the 1,200 workplace staff who participated within the survey imagine hybrid work will develop into a actuality as soon as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, and vaccines develop into more extensively obtainable.
At my very own firm, a tech startup within the San Francisco Bay Area, we had to weigh the advantages and challenges of working remotely earlier than deciding to develop into a remote-first firm. Below are a couple of takeaways from our decision-making journey and ideas to guarantee remote work success.
Remote work advantages
1. Freedom to transfer
One of the constructive facets of remote work is that it supplies freedom for workers to transfer and work from anyplace. For many staff, particularly in tech and different industries which have historically been concentrated in particular geographic areas, remote work permits folks to keep related, collaborate and contribute with out enduring a excessive price of residing or different limitations. At my firm, this reality alone contributed to the next worker satisfaction price.
2. Custom workspaces
For fairly a while now, open workplace areas have been the norm for companies throughout industries. Yet, for work that requires a excessive degree of focus for lengthy durations of time, an open workplace surroundings—with all its distractions and noise—is much from very best. Remote work permits staff to design their very own workspaces for optimum focus and productiveness.
3. Bigger hiring pool
You can now compete for prime expertise anyplace within the nation and the world. More than that, hiring remotely permits you to construct a more numerous crew in each sense, attracting folks from completely different backgrounds and talent units.
Remote work challenges
1. Loss of group
There are some things which are laborious to replicate within the digital work surroundings, and amongst them are impromptu brainstorms, crew outings and pleasant conversations on the proverbial water cooler. For many firms, in-person interactions fueled a way of group and have been a giant a part of firm tradition.
2. Communication gaps
It could be laborious to get a read on folks throughout a video name. It’s additionally straightforward to miss social cues we regularly use throughout in-person interactions with out even desirous about it. But simply being conscious of this reality will help you construct understanding and work out methods to shut the communication hole.
The previous yr offered new challenges for all of us in each side of life, together with well being, household and work. Working remotely whereas caring for family members and/or dealing with social isolation got here at an enormous bodily and emotional price, inflicting burnout.
Tips for profitable remote work
Every problem can also be a possibility to study and develop. Here are a couple of battle-tested ideas to enable you to overcome the challenges of working remotely.
1. Think digital first
If you haven’t finished so already, undertake digital instruments and techniques which are straightforward to use and meet your team’s unique needs. If all you want is Zoom and Google Workspace and also you’re off to the races, that’s nice. But when you’re planning to transition into totally remote work or a hybrid mannequin the place a part of the workforce stays remote, then you definately’ll want more than simply primary planning and communication instruments. For instance, you might want to undertake studying administration techniques to ship every part from onboarding to HR coaching to ongoing inner product and repair seminars.
We reside within the digital age the place new information is generated each second. All that info, together with buyer information, is ineffective when you don’t correctly handle it and combine completely different elements of enterprise to implement steady data-driven enchancment. Consider an information administration platform to hold your online business and buyer information safe, align remote groups round key efficiency indicators and observe progress throughout all the group.
2. Prioritize communication
More doesn’t imply higher when it comes to communication. Zoom fatigue is actual, and conferences are not any more widespread now than they have been when we labored in bodily places of work. Keep your conferences to the minimal and prioritize clear, constant and written communication. Make face-to-face conferences more intentional and purpose-driven.
3. Encourage work-life stability
While working from house has its enchantment, it might trigger burnout. On the flip aspect of flexibility, the shortage of commute and cozy clothes are the absence of construction by way of a transparent begin and finish to the workday. The burden is on each leaders and staff to set clear expectations for work hours, response time and conferences, bearing in mind completely different time zones. It could seem overwhelming at first, however trustworthy and open conversations will help discover and preserve stability.
4. Check the heartbeat of staff regularly
As time goes by, our sentiments about remote work and its affect on our lives might change. Don’t wait till you begin noticing productiveness dips or a decrease worker satisfaction price. It could be unrealistic for you to examine in with everybody individually regularly, however you should utilize transient surveys to give your staff a possibility to present suggestions and ask questions.
5. Introduce remote work insurance policies
Remote work might look completely different at completely different firms. To be certain that your staff perceive how remote work goes to have an effect on their every day work and lives in the long run, consider introducing remote-work-specific insurance policies. The insurance policies can embody something from permitting staff to work anyplace inside the similar time zone or nation to providing an ergonomics stipend to planning common in-person outings as soon as it’s secure to achieve this. At my firm, we did a sequence of worker surveys to decide our crew’s priorities and insurance policies as we adjusted to a brand new regular.
At this level, it’s clear we aren’t going again to the best way we labored earlier than the pandemic. Now the duty is to make remote work one of the best it may be and to hold work productive and significant.