How many companies were dragged kicking and screaming into the remote work environment by COVID? And now that we are emerging from the pandemic, how many of those companies are going back to their old ways because the remote work experience was so bad? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, sticking with the remote work model doesn't have to be arduous. It does not have to lead to stomach ulcers, insomnia, and incessant worrying. Remote work is like anything else. You learn how it works, you make the necessary modifications, and then you embrace it wholeheartedly.
Remote work revolves around the following three principles:
- New work environments based on technology
- New technology making work more efficient
- Utilizing technology and efficiency to improve the employee experience.
These three principles are built one on top of the other. The foundation for all three is the technology that makes remote work not only possible, but very much a modern reality.
1. Creating New Work Environments
There are some industries for which remote work is impossible. For example, the person who cuts your hair cannot do it over a Zoom call. But for everyone else, remote work offers opportunities to create entirely new work environments.
It is no longer necessary to bring everyone into the office five days per week, eight hours per day. Staff members can spend half their time in the office and the other half at home. They can meet at neutral locations during the week for mutual collaboration.
One of the primary benefits of adopting a new remote work model is saving on overhead costs. If more employees are working remotely, there may be no need to keep paying for an expensive lease on a big office. How would that affect your bottom line?
2. Using Technology to Increase Efficiency
Given that remote work is built on technology, one of the natural results of maximizing said technology should be increased efficiency. For purposes of illustration, consider the daily meetings your staff members attend. Because they are logged into your video conferencing software all day, meetings suddenly become more efficient.
In-office meetings are plagued by latecomers. You get bogged down by the coffee and donuts. What should take 30 minutes ends up taking an hour or more. Online, that changes. Meetings can start promptly because everyone is already logged in. Any staff members who want coffee can go pour a cup before they sit down. And when the meeting is over, it is right back to work.
3. Improving the Employee Experience
Combining new work environments with greater efficiency has a tendency to improve the employee experience. Employees are more productive throughout the day, achieving a greater sense of accomplishment in knowing that their work is done.
As an added benefit, a hybrid or fully remote work model gives employees more flexibility in how they do their jobs. This encourages them to feel like they have greater control. They can own their jobs instead of their jobs owning them. No doubt this improves the employee experience considerably.
Where does your company stand on remote work? If you were forced to rely on it during the height of the COVID pandemic, are you looking to get back to the old way of doing things? We would urge your company not to do so. As long as you have already opened the remote work door, you might just as well step through and use it to your advantage. Embrace technology, increase efficiency, and make for a better employee experience. Your company will reap the rewards of doing so.