Remote Working – Life after COVID and The New Normal

Remote Working – Life after COVID and The New Normal

It’s 2021, a huge and historic shift is taking place in the today’s world of commerce. Could working from home become the absolute norm? If so, the ramifications for most businesses are far reaching. Clearly there will be benefits, and challenges. What does this mean for your business? For some, it’s been the SOP for some time now, but are there businesses that remote working will mean an overhaul too far?

Working from Home – The Facts and Stats

According to some sources, the trend of Remote Working amongst employees that are able is continuing to rise. Over 55% of the UK’s workforce spent some time working from home during 2020. Fair to say that a significant proportion of this figure was partially propelled by the Covid19 global pandemic.

If we cast our minds back to pre-pandemic era, working from home was certainly not unheard of, but more of a ‘perk’ of the job than a requirement. With 73% of employees now able to work from home, another significant driver of this capacity is of course, technology. Only 16% of employees are unable to work remotely, with 11% already having been in that workspace for some time.

From the very top of businesses all over the UK, CEO’s and Business Leaders make up a huge proportion of employers that have been flexible in offering employees the opportunity to work remotely. The key takeaway message from all of this appears to be that 61% of employees expect and want to work remotely, with more than half of employers generally happy to accommodate.

So, Back to the Technology

For a significant period of time, certainly in the run up to 2020 technology and the advent of connectivity capabilities and various business apps and tools have made remote working a reality… and it’s only just getting started. Without these means, working from home would be a ‘nice to have’ or a pipedream. Applications such as cutting-edge VoIP Telephony, Collaboration apps, and Video Conferencing platforms have enabled a potentially entirely remote workforce. The market for these demands has increased hugely, the various options, combinations and integrations give businesses a vast range of routes to achieve the right mix of connectivity and technology.

Another key precipitator of the Working New Normal is of course 5G. Click here to read our 5G blog post.

It all sounds perfect…doesn’t it?

Inevitably, and in the true sense of Yin-Yang, for every challenge, there is a solution, and vice-versa. With benefits come challenges, and the question to really answer here is ‘Do the benefits out-weigh the inescapable potential for issues?’… Let’s find out.

The number one stress causer for most Remote Workers is lack of tools to do their job effectively. It’s an obvious one, but ensuring that your team has everything they need to be great at their jobs will not only keep them engaged and happy, but it’ll also drive productivity and in turn profit and growth for your organisation – and in these uncertain times, being able to bank on growth can be extraordinarily valuable!

Remote Working Benefits:

  • Increased Autonomy
  • Greater Flexibility
  • Better Work-Life Balance
  • Higher Productivity
  • Increased Motivation
  • Reduced Staff Turnover
  • Improved Employee Engagement
  • Reduced Office Space Needs

Remote Working Challenges:

  • Lack of tools to do job effectively
  • Can precipitate longer working hours
  • Potential for work/life overlaps
  • Work intensification
  • Isolation/Lack of colleague interaction f2f
  • Strain on teams

Below we’ve listed just a few of the considerations worth keeping in mind when implementing a full Remote Working function within your business. You may have already been thinking of some of these pointers, if so, you’re on the right track.

Remote Working Checklist:

    • Have your employees been consulted on the needs of the business and their own needs?
    • Has there been a discussion on how the home working environment is managed?
    • Is the employee working flexible hours or set hours?
    • Does the employee have the tools they need to be as proficient is they are in the office?
    • Do the team get together face to face on a regular basis?
    • Is remote working and its impacts discussed as part of performance reviews?
    • Is there a ‘Right to Disconnect’ policy in place?
    • Does an open forum exist where employers and employees can air their concerns around remote working?
    • What has changed for employee’s development possibilities?
    • Is accountability held on results, or working time?
    • What platform exists for colleagues to continue sharing knowledge?
    • Is critical information accessible to those who need it?

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