Ever since companies had to abandon office spaces, the big question has been whether remote work is here to stay. Over the past two years, we have read several differing opinions on the same. Studies claim that a majority of employees prefer working remotely over office. Some employers, on the other hand, believe that working from office can never be replaced.
In this blog, we discuss expert opinions and surveys to understand the possibility of the permanence of remote work.
The impact of remote work on employee productivity has been studied regressively by firms. Results show that employee productivity has improved since they started working from home. The downside is the increase in burnout and anxiety. Around 70% of the participants in a survey stated that they would like a hybrid or remote work condition once the pandemic is over. Experts believe that the productivity increase is temporary and in the long-term, better solutions will be needed.
Employees welcome the benefits they receive as they work from home. By eliminating commuting, employees save time and energy and also find enough time to spend with their families. Flexible work allows employees to feel valued and trusted by their employers and reduces their stress levels.
Certain employees prefer working without distractions, and working remotely offers them the right work environment.
Even though remote work has evolved drastically in the past years, experts believe that it cannot completely replace offices. Despite all its perks, remote work fails to become an alternative to office work culture. Here are some of the advantages of working from the office:
• Mentorship: New hires can be trained better by their mentors and seniors when they work from the office. These bonds cannot be strengthened virtually that well.
• Informal Communication: Employees miss out on the human connection as they met during office hours to discuss both work and personal lives.
• Well-Being: While their work productivity increased, several employees complained about stress, anxiety, and burnout issues that impacted their wellbeing.
• Isolation: Social individuals may feel lonely or isolated if they have to work without regular social interactions or in-office chats.
• Distractions: Some employees may have a tough time working among their roommates or families, and may prefer a work environment to function better.
• Brainstorming: Heated discussions, exchange of creative ideas, and brainstorming sessions have a better impact when individuals communicate in an office space.
If employers need to collaborate with their staff offline, a hybrid workspace would cater to their needs aptly.
Some factors that can be helpful in implementing a hybrid model include:
1. Worker Preferences: Consider the preferences of every employee, allow others to understand and accommodate to them
2. Key Performance Indicators: To help promote equality at work, KPIs can be used to measure the work outputs on a regular basis.
3. Cyber Security: Sheer negligence on part of the employees can increase costs and breaches, making it vital for companies to invest in cybersecurity
4. Office Space: Modifications to become more accessible for teams to collaborate for remote and in-office workers
5. Invest in Tools: Bring in technology that will help teams coordinate better and function effectively in both remote and in-office settings
Since these decisions are based on short-term data, employers should focus on both individual and team collaborations. They need to measure work productivity on both levels before making any long-term decisions.
It would be advised that they experiment and understand the policies that work for their business. Employers should make sure that they create a future where the workforce feels included, understood, and at ease.