Coronavirus forced many companies around the world to rethink how they work, from communications to operations. In response to global lockdowns, travel bans, school closures, and social distancing, many businesses turned to digital tools to ensure there was as little interruption as possible.
No more resistance
Companies who were resistant to working from home have now been forced into allowing their workforce to work from home so that operations can continue without disruption.
The only problem is that some businesses lacked the structure to implement new technology without some disruption. However, after three months of working from home, companies have now seen the benefits of working from home.
Benefits of remote working for employers
By using project management tools such as Monday and Slack, it's easier to keep communications, files, and project information in one place; this eliminates endless email trails and continuous progress reporting.
Increase in productivity
According to Forbes, the overall productivity of employees working from home increased by 47%. Survey data obtained by Businesswire also noted the following:
- The average worker starts at 8:32 am and ends work at 5:38 pm
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the most productive days of the week
- Telephone calls went up by 230%
- CRM activity rose by 176%
- Email is up 57%, and chat rose by 9%
The assumption is that remote workers are less productive; however, the data obtained by Businesswire would suggest that this is not the case.
Improvements to employee health and wellness
Working from home has indirectly created a robust work-life balance for employees through reduced commuting, having the opportunity to customise your surroundings, creating your own schedule, and improved telecommunication.
The most important thing is that boundaries and expectations are set to ensure that both the employee and management are comfortable with the new way of working.
Talent pool expansion
Now that employees can work from home, businesses are no longer limited to hiring people locally. This increases the likelihood of finding someone with the exact skills and experience to fit the position. Hiring from different countries, areas, and cultures creates a more diverse and well-rounded workforce.
Benefits of remote working for employees
Flexible working hours
Although working 9-5 is the typical working pattern, it isn't necessarily sensible as everybody has their own differing schedules based on personal needs, energy levels, and childcare. Remote work allows employees to be productive in the hours which work for them by planning the right amount of task time around their basic needs.
Commuting every day can have an adverse effect on an employee, from stress-related health issues to performance at work and the impact on their personal relationships. Long hours of commuting, especially when driving, are associated with musculoskeletal disorders, lateness, and high blood pressure. According to a TUC study in 2019, the average commute time to work was 59 minutes. This is around 221 hours per year, getting to and from work., a loss of valuable time that can be spent with family and friends, rather than time commuting to work.
Accommodates employees with special needs
Remote working for employees with physical disabilities can improve their lives and make completing tasks more manageable. Their own home is better equipped to help them succeed while working; they're also able to provide themselves with adequate self-care.
What are the world’s largest companies doing?
In July, Google announced that its employees would be working from home until at least July 2021. The decision was made by the Chief Executive Officer of parent company Alphabet Inc, Sundar Pichai, following discussions with an internal group of executives.
In a statement, Sundar Pichai wrote: "The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen."
As of August, Facebook gave its employees the option to work remotely up until July 2021. In addition to the extended remote leave, Facebook gave its employees an additional $1,000 for home office equipment.
However, with Facebook's announcement, they made employees aware that they would need to tell their bosses, should they move to a new location. Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that those who move to lower-cost cities "may have their compensation adjusted based on their location."
In May, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his staff could work from home "forever" if they wish, following the success of their work-from-home measures. However, they did add that should any employees wish to return to the office when it reopens; then they were welcome to do that.
In a statement, Twitter said: "The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen."
Initially, the idea of working from home wasn't ideal; however, it has now become the new norm, which has been embraced by companies globally.
Businesses have put their reservations about remote working aside to follow national health guidelines. And it would seem that Covid-19 is now responsible for a revolution in the way businesses operate, even after Covid-19 no longer exists.
If there was ever an example of a business successfully implementing remote working, then look no further than Avenue Digital.