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Will Remote Working Be The New Normal?

The entire world witnessed a historic shift in the 2020 job market. While some businesses used to offer the ability to work from home as a perk, it has now become a necessity for most businesses. By 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month.

As companies prepare to make remote working permanent, cultural change will play a crucial role in building new, successful work environments.

We all know COVID-19 struck fast and hard and most of us were unprepared and had to hit the ground running to accommodate our attitudes and habits as we started working from home. Remote working is not a new concept, but as more businesses look towards making it an integral part of how they operate, work as we know it looks set for big changes.

Sharat Sharan, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of ON24 summarizes it best, “While we could see it coming, once it hit, the pandemic changed business overnight. And when a crisis like this happens, the pace of business is totally different. Weeks start to feel like months, and outcomes are impossible to predict.”

So, how has this affected the world of work? Let’s dive deeper into what the world of remote work will mean for the future.

The Need For Office Space Has Decreased

The need for large physical office spaces will gradually become a thing of the past. Moe Vela, Chief Transparency Officer of Transparent Business predicts, “Completely remote companies with no headquarters will continue to form as other organizations decided to reduce their office space for hybrid teams or forgo one altogether to save on costs.”

While multiple strategies have been discussed in regards to hybrid work models, we are yet to finalize and tests would still need to be run as Anna Convery-Pelletier, CMO at Radware, suggests, “One strategy might be to have specific days for in-person meetings and collaboration, and then other days allocated for remote work. In-person meetings might be reserved for brainstorming sessions, introducing new projects, or team-building exercises, while remote days would be for work that can be performed individually. The office could be redesigned and reorganized by getting rid of cubicles and creating more collaborative meeting spaces.”

Remote Work Will Affect Performance Management

We are seeing a shift from organizations as to how they evaluate performance. Businesses will increasingly focus on the work completed as opposed to hours worked. At some point in the future, it may become necessary to create new job positions, such as Director of Remote Work, to oversee production and collaboration and ensure operational efficiencies.

Some companies are also changing the performance review model, making the reviews ongoing rather than annual. Continuous feedback will become essential as managers attempt to help employees meet performance expectations and it will also have a positive effect on employee engagement.

Overall, rethinking how goals are set and identifying key performance metrics will be critical to managing remote workers in the new normal.

The Hiring Process, Re-imagined

According to LinkedIn, the number of remote jobs advertised on the platform has increased four times since June 2020. LinkedIn’s research found that remote job postings resulted in a 20% increase in the geographical diversity of applicants.

Jennie Dede, LinkedIn’s head of global customer success, says, “When it comes to recruiting top talent, companies who are open to adopting long-term remote work plans will have access to candidates around the globe - as opposed to only near the office location - enabling a more diverse pipeline of talent that they haven’t accessed before.”

Remote work will also lead to a continuation of virtual recruiting. Companies have experimented with video interviews and remote assessments in the past, but COVID has made it stick

The pandemic has proved that we can work from home and it can be done effectively - without losing productivity. In a survey by Mercer, an HR consulting firm, 94% of employers said productivity was the same as or higher than before the pandemic, even with their employees working remotely. The future of remote work will require many changes, including investing in digital infrastructure and freeing office space.

The question on everyone's minds is still yet to be answered, will the benefits of remote work outweigh the drawbacks? Only time will tell.

Let Optimum Staffing Solutions Guide You Into The World Of Remote Work

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