It’s been more than a year since companies everywhere were forced to embrace remote work or essentially face extinction. Companies who had one foot in a remote work environment had to embrace it fully, and those who hadn't embraced it yet found themselves having to dive in just to survive. But what has this past year’s experiment in working remotely taught us? How has this lurch toward workplace mobility accelerated the development of how we work overall? With that in mind, here are 3 ways remote work has evolved over the past year.
#1 - The right tools are key
Remote work requires its own set of tools to ensure productivity, and while that might not seem evident (or affordable) to some companies, this past year has definitely shown otherwise. There can be no compromise when it comes to the hardware, software or even office equipment if employee productivity is to be maintained when working remotely. Docking stations, multiple monitors, ergonomic chairs, webcams should all be considered essential for any remote work environment, to say nothing of providing the software workers need to do their job properly. Webcams and mics are an underrated component for collaboration as many companies assume whatever hardware employees have is “good enough.” This sort of compromise can hurt a business because online collaboration is the key to thriving businesses in a post-COVID world.
#2 - The future is flex
Allowing people to work from home full time for companies that hadn’t done it previously proved to employees and executives that remote work works
. And this represents a point of no return as employees who’ve tasted the remote lifestyle might not want to give it up, a feeling that employers will find hard to ignore moving forward. That’s why so many companies are moving to flexible work schedules, which combine both in-office work with remote work. While some companies have a more set flex schedule, others are leaving it entirely up to their employees to decide when they work at home or in the office. The point is, people want choice, they want options, and employers would be wise to listen. Especially when you consider that remote workers have more time to work since they have no commute, no need to spend time dressing formally and a home office setup that lets them work as much as they like.
#3 - Office 2.0
What about the future of office work experiences? How will offices change because of COVID-19? With the increased shift to remote work, many offices are realizing they simply don’t need the same physical footprint as before. Some companies are rotating their in-office schedules, so only a certain percentage of the workforce is in the office at any given time, further allowing them to permanently lease smaller offices. This all could lead to a huge industry-wide trend in office downsizing. One important aspect of this relates to point #1 and the need for no compromise when it comes to home office setups. The savings companies experience due to downsizing might have to be offset somewhat by the cost to furnish adequate home setups for employees, but when weighed against the cost of lost productivity, it seems like a logical choice to make.
For more information on how innovations in remote work and workplace mobility can help your customers thrive in a post-COVID world, contact the experts at Ingram Micro.