For over a year, the world has been dealing with a global pandemic that has disrupted the norm and forced businesses to re-evaluate their processes to minimize physical and financial risks. During this battle, CEOs have struggled with shifting operations to a remote environment while maintaining the productivity level and work quality that keeps their organizations running smoothly.
Many staff and executives are now working at home, which is still a new policy for many companies. As more is learned daily about collaborating remotely and how the pandemic impacts business, the question remains: how will work look after it is all over?
The Changing View of the Modern Office
Working at home has been a necessity during the many lockdowns and COVID-19 requirements, but now management has to decide if this is helping or hindering team performance. Many C-Suite executives are tasked with determining if remote work will continue remote work will continue indefinitely. Initially, there may have been some excitement among employees when a remote work policy was implemented, but in many executives have seen that initial enthusiasm dwindle.
Communication outside of the office and through video chat apps such as Zoom have been adequate to get the job done, but management may miss the interaction that they had before. The pandemic has limited face-to-face time, and collaborating remotely has its limits.
Additionally, it may be challenging to supervise employees appropriately and ensure company protocols are followed properly through online conferences and chats. Some CEOs are finding that their team’s performance is lacking without the hands-on guidance offered in a physical work environment. This lack of guidance also has the potential to hinder an employee’s professional development and career trajectory with the company.
As the pandemic dies down, expect gradual returns to a physical work environment. Being in the office again will allow for more in-person collaboration to give that nudge of congratulatory praise that drives many workers to the next level. Being in the office creates an environment that CEOs have recognized drives the validity of the company, since some strategies simply cannot be duplicated through work at home setups.
Keeping Some Workers in a Remote Setting
Some good will come from having employees work remotely, even after the current climate shifts. Though it was not ideal, C-Suite had to manage to work at home for several months and many have been doing so for even longer. Shifting to a remote work remote environment gave great insight into some ways that working at home can still be effectively utilized moving forward. Expect that some companies will opt to keep at least some remote workers at home indefinitely.
From hiring to everyday processes, working remotely has been a largely positive experience. Conferences and interviews conducted remotely has helped improve productivity while keeping everyone safe. In addition, remote environments are driven by technology that has allowed us to communicate like never before.
Now that we are aware of what working from home really entails, we know which projects can get completed this way. Even employers that formerly required workers to be physically present in the office have found that many employees were at productive—or even more so—in a home office.
Some employees found that remote interaction was less stressful for them, and that they worked more efficiently independently. As a result, employers will move toward a model where physical office space is used on a limited basis primarily for collaborative work, brainstorming, and teambuilding activities.
Reducing real estate costs could be a big savings for companies during a time when companies have lost huge revenues due to COVID-19. If this pandemic has done anything, it has shown just how much can be completed at home, since projects that would be normally done in the office have been completed at home with no problem. Working at home is not for everyone, but it can be utilized by companies as a solution for some workers. This, in turn, would allow them to use smaller office spaces while still maintaining the same level of output.
Embracing remote work also allows companies to hire the best candidates for the job regardless of physical location. The onus will be on leadership to find the best tools to keep channels of communication open, train employees on their use, and model best practices.
Remote Work Isn’t Going Anywhere
Working from home is not something that will fade into the background. It has been around for quite some time. Now that it has shown it is essential, it will only be implemented more as we turn the corner on the pandemic.