Remote work- How are you thriving in the new normal?
By Ana-Maria Bodog, 26th November 2020
Just as the other Industrial Revolutions profoundly changed the way people worked and migrated from rural areas to the cities, in the light of the last 9 months’ events we can state that the 4th Industrial Revolution is almost here and its magnitude is yet unknown. One thing is for sure, that the COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst in this process and it accelerated the arrival of the future of work. In the current context of induced lockdowns and related global recession, the labor market is marked by a high level of uncertainty.
Covid-19 pushed companies to accelerate digitalization, automation, and also to scale the remote work. In this global work-from-home experiment with many people from all over the world taking part, it’s worth asking the question:
How do people and companies actually feel about remote work?
A survey from U.S.-based Enterprise Technology Research (ETR) conducted in September surveyed about 1,200 chief information officers from around the world across different industries and revealed the following information:
IT decision-makers expect permanent remote work to double to 34.4% of their companies’ workforces in 2021, compared with 16.4% before the coronavirus outbreak, a result of positive productivity trends.
More CIOs were upbeat about next year’s outlook, as they see an increase in tech budgets by 2.1%, compared with a 4.1% decline this year due to the lockdowns triggered by the pandemic.
Optimistic productivity metric: 48.6% of the more than 1,000 CIOs interviewed for the survey, reported that productivity has improved since workers began working remotely, with only 28.7% of respondents indicating a decline in productivity.
What are the things people like about working from home?
Coronavirus lockdowns accelerated the shift to flexible working in a way that had previously seemed impossible. A flexible schedule, the ability to work from any location, no more commuting, and more time with family were the top reported benefits. According to The State of Remote Work 2020, 98% of people expressed the desire to have the option to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers.
Actually, location flexibility isn’t just a “nice to have” company perk,
especially among tech professionals. Companies that don’t embrace flexible working may find themselves at a disadvantage when recruiting new talent.
Despite all the perks remote workers enjoy, working from home or teleworking during the pandemic has also outlined some challenges. The top issues faced by remote workers was “unplugging” from work followed by the mental health and well-being challenges (childcare pressures and digital connectivity).
Not all employees were ready to start performing all of their work from home especially to manage this under far from ideal circumstances — such as children to care for and educate, or shielding relatives to support, not to mention health concerns determined by the risks associated with the COVID-19 virus.
Adults living with children were more likely to report worse mental health than adults living without children, two UK studies showed
What should companies do to manage emerging risks from COVID-19?
Business leaders should prioritize the mental health of employees.
According to The Future of Jobs Report, ensuring employee well-being was among the key measures being undertaken by leaders looking to effectively shift to remote work. In particular, more than a third (34%) of leaders said they were taking steps to create a sense of community among employees online.
In practice, that means to:
- Make sure employees know where to find information, guidance, and support for mental health
- Reinforce the importance of being physically active to reduce stress and mindfulness for mental clarity
- Keep your staff connected and feeling supported in isolation
- Boost motivation and engagement
- Foster resilience and performance
- Future-proof your workforce
How are you thriving in the new normal- remote work environment?
Now that you found that location flexibility is shifting towards becoming a new standard, you should embrace it, otherwise you may find your company at a disadvantage when recruiting new talent. Thereat if you need any help with remote IT professionals to help you scale your business, we can give you a hand.
Contact Us today and let us know what is your business staffing requirement.