Quarantines, bans, and self-imposed isolation have drawn tens of millions of people around the world to work from home and accelerated a job for the benefit of their home. With AI and the future of work, the transition to remote work is certainly here to stay.
According to an analysis tailored specifically for FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, remote working in the US has seen a gradual growth trend with an increase of 159% between 2005 and 2017 and 4.7 million remote workers, or 3.4% of the population as of 2020. An annual survey by they also claim that flexible working is seen as a “new regular” by 74% of respondents and this is evident from Shopify, Coinbase, Upwork and big companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and JP Morgan who are expanding their model to remote working . Find out the status of remote working in 2020 – trends, benefits and forecasts.
There’s one statistic that remains undeniable every year: Remote workers almost want to continue working remotely together for the rest of their careers. Now 98% of them are definitely not a small number. Please refer to the picture below.
By 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely for at least five days a month. While 2020 can be considered the year of remote working, it is only the beginning as the trend will continue into 2021. But what exactly worked well with remote working that has now made it the new norm?
Let’s examine the benefits:
1. Cost effective: One of the biggest challenges businesses face is reducing cutbacks. Adapting to remote working conditions can therefore be an important prerequisite for saving early. For example, it does not require new investments in physical property, capital, overheads, or overall maintenance.
With the ability to hire in different regions of the world where the cost of living is lower without geographical restrictions, you can hire employees at a lower price, resulting in more savings and better ROI.
Aside from savings for the company, being able to work from home can cut community costs because employees don’t have to pay for fuel, insurance, or transit.
Giving up commuting to work can save you up to $ 100 a month and save time as the workweek increases to 6-15 in grouped downtown areas. Saving money is a major motivator for remote workers as they save about $ 4,000 each year and save money on taxes, according to a study by Flexjobs.
2. Access to higher quality talent: For any company, the right team can make all the difference in the world. The adoption of remote working enables more diverse talent to be accessed at an affordable price from around the world who may otherwise be out of reach. The hiring process is also much faster, more efficient and saves time with the technology in the picture.
3. More creative and productive workforce: Flexible working hours and locations can help drive innovation and increase productivity in your company. With the comfort and ease of their home, a relaxed mindset often generates creative ideas. A Stanford study also found that remote workers were 13% more productive than traditional office workers.
4. Happier employees: Remote work leads to more autonomy among employees and the freedom to work according to your method (hours, day, approach). This flexibility is listed as one of the greatest benefits of being able to spend more time with their families and achieving a better work-life balance.
A study conducted by Owl Labs found that 80% of respondents reported relief from stress from working from home.
All of these factors contribute to higher employee retention and job satisfaction, resulting in a high employee retention rate, which is crucial for startups as retaining highly motivated employees is the greatest asset. Check out 7 reasons remote working is the hiring trend for startups.
5. Better networked team: While many argue that working remotely leads to poor communication and management, in a remote setup it is easier to communicate virtually, routinely stay connected with each member of your team, and monitor their tasks through various software.
Virtual meetings allow fewer absences and the advantage that recorded meetings can be listened to later. This also increases participation, as employees are more comfortable sharing their views and engaging virtually than if rigorous office meetings were held.
Virtual meetings also enable smaller and leaner meeting groups that create more targeted group discussions and lead to additional constructive results. Since poor communication is one of the main reasons a start-up fails, start-ups where new and creative ideas are of the greatest value, remote working allows for a flow of substantive ideas without fear of judgment.
AI and the future of work will also make it easier to connect with employees online through off-topic chats for video calls, game sessions, virtual happy hours, etc., resulting in better retention, employee relationships, and productivity.
6. Manageable risks: Traditional and remote business management has its drawbacks. Remote work challenges such as isolation, distractions, and lack of motivation are mostly achievable. This is key for startups as they are speculative about taking significant financial risks, especially financial ones.
7. Social benefits: The flexibility at work allows more working mothers to work remotely, reducing the gender gap. Without geographical barriers, employees from different cultures create more diversity. Apart from that, remote work is sustainable even without commuting and with lower energy consumption.
With these advantages, there are now various disadvantages:
Employees can easily feel part of the bigger picture of a company when they are in the office and brainstorming with colleagues every day. Remote working can make it more difficult for employees to feel connected and connected to daily corporate events, which can ultimately lower morale. According to a report by Buffer, 19% of remote workers identified isolation as their main concern.
2. Decreased work-life balance
While some may believe that working at home makes it easier for employees to balance work and life, it is difficult for employees to unplug and spend time with family and friends when they are not between work and hours personal times differ.
3. Less connection with colleagues
While virtual water cooler chats are present, it’s not the same as real-time interactions in the office. Not berating about work, discussing projects, or having lunch together can seriously damage the social bond between employees.
However, if you give your employee a laptop that they can work on from the comfort of their home, despite having several benefits, burnout can also take a toll. Find out about 5 health risks involved in working remotely and how you can prevent them. As a result, companies need to focus on people – their changing needs and behaviors, which is why a surge in hybrid work models is evident as 55% of US workers want a mix of home and office work.
What are their advantages?
Hybrid work tends to have more freedom when and where to work. In general, employees are given more autonomy to adjust work for the rest of their lives rather than structuring other parts of a weekday around the hours registered in an office. Ideally, it is the best of both worlds: structure and sociability on the one hand and independence and flexibility on the other.
With AI and the future of work in a metamorphosis, it won’t be long before companies set specific days for meetings and collaboration in the office and distant days for work with an individual focus. Physical presence may be required for guidance, team building, and project launch, but not necessarily for other work.
After the pandemic, many organizations are trying to build more people-centered relationships in the workplace, and employee autonomy, happiness, and wellbeing were central.
From the employer’s point of view, the benefits are also significant. Hybrid working enables companies to be adaptable and diverse in their methods of hiring and retaining employees. The talent pool available will be much larger, and since people who have more flexibility about their work schedule tend to feel “more empowered,” it may be easier to hold on to them. As our work and private life continue to intertwine and the boundaries blur, hybrid work is becoming increasingly attractive for incoming workers.
Are there any downsides?
But hybrid work is not all good news, of course. The basic system of hybrid working means that it has the potential of “socio-economic and racial inequality”. Not everyone can work from home.
It is important to ensure that everyone can work at the same level. For example, are employees only allowed to work from home for half a week, or is this mandatory? If it is simply allowed, do employees who work from home feel less visible than their colleagues who are always in the office? Will they feel equally integrated? In hybrid work environments, executives and executives spend most of their time in the office. Does this mean remote workers aren’t getting promoted as quickly?
With the current AI trends and the future of work in support of remote and hybrid models, they will soon dominate all businesses. Yes, it will take a while to figure out how to overcome the hurdles of remote and hybrid work. For a company, a company must carefully consider whether it is adapting the right processes, rules and systems to support the individual processes.
Having solid policies, transparent communication, and a clear structure that puts equity first, both models can go a long way toward achieving innovation, recruiting the best talent, and creating value for all.