Recent technological advancements and the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically changed how people work, and the thriving remote work culture is undeniable as more and more people choose to work from anywhere with an internet connection.
With remote work gaining wider acceptance, businesses continue to make organizational changes to adapt to this rapid and collective shift in working style.
For businesses, remote working often leads to increased productivity and lower overhead costs, but as with all things, it also comes with some challenges.
Let’s take a look at a few of the ways remote work is changing how businesses operate.
- Now there’s far less need for large, centralized office locations. Employees, instead, can work from home, in smaller satellite offices, and coworking spaces.
- According to Firstbase CEO Chris Herd, companies are cutting their use of commercial office space by 50-70%.
- There are tons of savings when an employer doesn’t have to pay for office space, furniture, and other expenses that come with maintaining a physical workplace.
- In the old days, as a general rule, companies would try to hire people within a 30-mile radius of the office to ensure workers could make it to the office.
- With remote work, businesses can hire the best talent regardless of the person’s geographic location. And that’s an ultra-deep talent pool.
A study by Stanford University found that remote workers are 13% more productive than their office-based counterparts.
Productivity is on the rise in part due to:
- No Commute – Employees complete tasks quicker because they don’t have to deal with the dreaded commute.
- Remote and In Control – The flexibility of remote work allows workers to control where, how, and how long they work. Their workday can be optimized to when they’re most productive and at their best.
- According to the Census Bureau, the average one-way commute in the U.S. was around 27 minutes. That’s around five hours of driving to and from work per week that can be eliminated with remote work.
- A report from the International Energy Agency states the global office sector is responsible for nearly one-fifth of all commercial energy use. Whew. Thanks to remote work, that’s now dropping.
- A recent study found that if just 30 percent of the U.S. workforce worked from home, it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 54 million metric tons annually. That’s the equivalent of taking 11 million cars off the road.
Some companies have been slow to adapt to providing workers the best equipment for remote settings. As a result, some worker injuries are on the rise.
When working remotely, some injuries that can arise are:
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) - Common when people perform the same motions repeatedly, such as clicking on a mouse all day.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - A frequent injury caused by pressure on the nerves in the wrist.
- Some employers worry that remote workers are less productive outside of the office.
- The inability to look over and monitor subordinates during office hours can be misconstrued as employees not working just because they’re not visible.
- Employers are still adapting to developing fruitful collaboration and stringent quality assurance when employees are asynchronous and off-site.
- Some managers fear that “employee culture” — the bonding, collaboration, and positive interaction — can’t thrive with remote work where employees don’t see each other in person regularly.
- Remote workers can also sometimes feel isolated and lonely because they don’t have enough social interaction during the workday.
Let’s face it. Employees are looking for flexibility and remote work has become a competitive advantage for many companies worldwide.
Business is about adaptability, which in this case involves evolving to support the continued normalization of remote work.
There are helpful tools at your disposal, including technology like a virtual mailbox. Anytime Mailbox allows remote employees to stay on top of vital business matters while working remotely, or to have an address anywhere in the world without having to physically move or constantly update a mailing address.
It’s perfect for anyone who’s embracing the Renaissance of remote work.
Adaptation or extinction? Let’s go with the former.