Revising the Way We Work

Read time: 4 mins

No one can predict the future; however, making educated guesses based on current trends comes pretty close. As the world changes around us, some things are reverting to their previous state while others either experience revisions or total makeovers.

 

When it comes to how we work, reverting to how it was done before may not be an option. Organisations are already discussing the restructuring of how and where employees work.

In the foreseeable future, health compliance dictates an entirely new office working environment. To ensure employees’ health and safety, adaptations in the office include greater distances between workspaces, changes in the schedules of when employees work to minimise interaction, and introducing personal protection equipment like gloves and face masks while working. 

 

While the effort is vigilant, such environments are neither feasible nor desirable in the long run. 

 

Despite the sudden changes that demanded a global work-from-home mandate, employees and employers realise that remote working can be a suitable alternative to working in the office where possible. 

 

For employees and employers, the benefits of remote work are many. GitLab surveyed 3,000 adult professionals across the UK, USA, Canada and Australia concerning their remote working outlook.

What It Could Mean for Employees

 

When asked about the benefits of working remotely, the top five responses were:

 

 

  • Flexible scheduling (52%),
  • lack of commute (38%),
  • cost savings, (35%)
  • ability to care for a family, pets, ageing relatives, etc. (34%)
  • and reduced levels of anxiety and stress (32%). 

Flexibility

 

More than half of those surveyed valued flexibility above all else, meaning the ability to choose an optimal working environment, wherever it might be, was most famous for the bulk of the workforce interviewed. 

 

Remote working is not always synonymous with working from home. Working from home isn’t ideal for everyone. Considering things like managing at-home distractions and difficulty finding harmony between work and life, which could lead to burnout, the home environment is not desirable to every employee. 

 

Of those interviewed, 14% of remote professionals chose places like a coffee shop, library, co-working space or ‘other’ as their primary work location. 

Accessibility

 

For chronically ill or disabled employees, more than 80% preferred remote working, stating that remote work options allowed them to work and continue to contribute when going to the office isn’t probable.

 

Having the choice to work from anywhere gives employees a sense of autonomy and trust from management. 

 

When presented with the idea of remote work not being an option, 36% of those interviewed said they would search for a new remote role elsewhere. 

 

But does this come as a surprise? 

 

Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are a generation composed of digital natives who are considered to be the most educated generation in Western history and already will continue to expect the freedom and versatility to produce great results from wherever.  By 2025, more than 3/4 of the world’s workforce will consist of millennials.

 

 

Work-Life Harmony

 

For parents and parents-to-be, there’s a choice to be made between focusing on growing their family or being fully present at work. 

 

With flexible working options, one doesn’t have to be sacrificed over the other. Beyond parenting, a third of the workforce cited using the time saved from commuting to spend time with family (43%), resting (36%), working (35%), and exercising (34%).

What It Could Mean For Employers

 

Employers also stand to gain plenty from supporting remote work. Much like employees, employers experience benefits like cost savings, improved productivity and better communication overall. 

Talent Pool & Employee Retention 

 

One major advantage is the extended range of candidates. Targeting potential hires in a geographical location specific to the office significantly limits the talent pool. 

 

Being able to cast a wider net allows companies to acquire an ideal mix of talents and expertise. Employees report feeling valued, lucky and proud when working for a company that permits flexible and remote working.

 

These companies experience a 25% lower employee turnover than ones that don’t. And more than ¾ of workers would be happy to stay with their current employer if they could have flexible working hours.

 

 

Improved Productivity

 

52% of interviewed employers in the GitLab report cited increased productivity from a remote working force. 

 

The office is no exception to distraction, and for employees, there is even less control in minimising distractions in the office. 

 

Whether it’s the loud chatter of colleagues, the sound of a coffee machine, alerts and ringing from phones, pets in the office or even undesirable temperature conditions, distractions are abundant.

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, workers get interrupted every 11 minutes in the office, and it takes an average of 25 minutes to regain focus on the task at hand. 

 

Even at the office productivity is prone to taking hits.

Cost Savings

 

When most of your workforce is not required to be on-site all the time, real estate costs can lower significantly. 

 

In addition to saving on renting office space, savings can come from utilities that employees use while in the office such as electricity, computers, heating/ air conditioning and everything else that keeps an office running efficiently. 

 

Employers can save more than $11,000 per half-time telecommuter yearly. 

 

Such massive savings can be reallocated to investing in improving employee morale. Going beyond merely supporting remote working, some employers encourage their employees’ flexibility by reimbursing employees for Wi-Fi, co-working space, and buying office furniture related costs.

 

 

Better Communication

 

Almost 90% of the surveyed professionals are content with existing collaboration tools like Google Workspace and Office 365 and processes that facilitate remote work and team communication. 

 

Communication among the workers in a remote setup is more deliberate than when in the office. More of the information sent and received is accounted for, compared to in-person chatting in the office.

Takeaway

 

Focusing on a  dynamic approach to how we work can boast substantial benefits for both employers and employees in cost savings, improved productivity and building a sense of trust and value throughout a company.

 

The 2020 pandemic has only accelerated a trend that was already heading in this direction.  Remote and dynamic working is here to stay, and getting ahead depends on having the right approach. 

 

Is your company equipped to get aboard the global shift of working from anywhere? 

If you want to implement this solution, reach out to us below.