The advent of COVID-19 has brought about a radical shift in the global business landscape. The regulatory authorities worldwide imposed strict COVID protocols and restrictions, and organizations across verticals had to embrace remote work culture to navigate through the difficult time. Surprisingly, it paved the way for more enriching remote workforce collaboration trends among team members from different time zones.
The internet enabled organizations to stay connected with employees worldwide, and this paradigm shift from traditional office setup helped organizations realize multiple benefits of remote working. Although research and studies confirm that organizations have significantly reduced operational expenditures owing to remote working, decision-makers still ponder whether remote working would remain a viable long-term business strategy. Let’s glean through some remote workforce trends and stats to understand what the future holds!
The Shift Towards Remote Work
There is no denying to the fact that working remotely makes it exceptionally convenient for employees and employers to handle, manage, and execute projects. More importantly, workers have successfully been able to maintain a decent work-life balance in remote working. That’s why the majority of workers say that they would prefer to continue working remotely for the most part of their professional career.
The shift towards remote work also has some inherent challenges, but those can be easily tackled with the right set of approach, technology, and process. With many companies already leveraging the compelling benefits of remote working, it has become even more apparent that the attitude and approach towards the transformation and transition is the key to success. Therefore, every aspiring organization has started chalking out an effective roadmap that can help them survive and thrive in the post-pandemic era.
The current remote work statistics are genuinely in favor of organizations that have embraced remote workforce trends early. As per Global Workplace Analytics, new-age employees won’t rather mind a 10% reduction in their remuneration just to work remotely. Additionally, these employees also wish to continue with the flexible work setups that allow them better work-life balance. Remote working allows workers with a higher level of flexibility. Thus, remote work is gaining immense acceptance among employees and employers alike.
Compelling Benefits of Remote Working
There are numerous compelling benefits of working remotely that organizations have been attracted to, and some of the most significant ones are briefly mentioned herein.
- Expand Your Team Across Time-zones: In the traditional office setup, organizations used to hire only those professionals who are willing to work from the physical premises in a specific location. However, the advent of remote working has made it possible for employers to choose the right candidate without being much bothered about his/her location. The remote work culture and collaboration tools allow people from different time zones to work coherently.
- Become a More Inclusive, Diverse Organization: One of the core values of organizations is to establish a workforce that comprises people from different ethnicity, beliefs, and regions. Although it has always been the top priority of decision-makers worldwide, the traditional office setup somehow restricted employers to choose candidates from a relatively limited ethnicity, beliefs, and regions. On the contrary, remote work allows them to become a more inclusive, diverse organization.
- Enhance Productivity, Efficiency, and Loyalty: Several studies have revealed that employees today are more inclined towards remote job opportunities, which can help them give enough time towards family, health, upskilling, and higher education. This not only drives their loyalty, but also motivates them to work with more commitments and dedication. All these factors result in continuous improvement in productivity, efficiency, and loyalty.
In short, there are numerous compelling benefits of remote work culture for both employees and employers. Therefore, whether you are planning to continue working in the remote setup or going back to the conventional system, you must pay attention to the key remote workforce trends that are shaping the industry.
Emerging Remote Workforce Trends
1. More Focus on Flexible Work in Future
Gone are the days when employees were working routinely for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Going forward, the focus will be on flexible work schedules which can allow workers to simultaneously devote time towards personal life, higher studies, or even freelancing projects they are associated with.
The steep rise in demand of flexible work schedules will not only influence HR policy but also dictate the overall organizational and operational policies. Therefore, new-age leaders must start considering how they can ensure seamless delivery of services to customers and clients, while allowing a flexible work schedule for employees.
2. Workforce Enablement, Empowerment, and Upskilling
Although research has confirmed that remote work helps employees maintain distance with stress and fatigue, it has become quite significant to understand how this culture paves way for effective workforce management. Employees today are more receptive to an environment that gives enough freedom and flexibility that further guarantees timely workforce enablement, empowerment, and upskilling.
In the traditional office setup, the HR department has paid due attention to employees’ freedom and empowerment. On the same line, the HR department needs to identify new ways in which employees can explore their true potential and learn new things simultaneously.
3. HR Automation to Cut Costs Significantly
Once you have moved to the remote working setup, it is so obvious that employees would not be interacting with people from different teams and functions at the same pace. Herein, decision-makers should start focusing on how to automate their HR and support functions, such as hiring, training, data analysis, and employee engagement.
Remote work statistics suggest that HR automation will help an organization cut support costs significantly, while allowing employees to seamlessly leverage the available learning and development strategies in an efficient way. More importantly, investment in automation can help the HR team save time which can be further devoted towards developing, training, and guiding new remote workers.
4. Artificial Intelligence for Data-driven Decisions
It is no surprise that organizations worldwide aim to make data-driven decisions, and this is made much more possible with the help of Artificial Intelligence. Many organizations have already been leveraging its multiple compelling benefits, such as predicting trends, forecasting tendencies, monitoring business operations in real-time, transforming business, and automating repetitive tasks.
Thus, companies will continue leveraging the power of AI to enable and assist employees in the remote working culture. Such a technology can help remote workers in handling, managing, and executing their office tasks in a more productive and smarter way.
5. Reinforce Cybersecurity Infrastructure
It is a known fact today that cybersecurity would emerge as one of the major concerns for organizations in the future. Organizations need to reinforce their security infrastructure as the virtual mode or remote culture makes the entire organization more vulnerable to lapses, thefts, and even losses.
Studies have revealed that organizations have started investing more on cybersecurity, and even taking the help of Machine Learning for taking appropriate predictive security actions. The rise of remote work culture will further compel decision-makers to revisit their security strategies to protect their valuable IT assets, data, and even remote workers from cybercriminals.
6. Demand for Unified Communication Tools
It goes without saying that the quality of communication and collaboration among employees decides the quality of service they deliver. As remote work setup hinders daily physical interaction and communication among all the employees, it becomes quite important to leverage a digital platform to stimulate bonding and collaboration.
With this, cloud-based unified communication tools take the center stage in remote workforce management and resource management. As per remote work statistics in numerous research, communication tools help employees engage and communicate with fellow team members and build trust in the most personalized manner. More importantly, it also allows them an exclusive space to discuss and brainstorm on any crucial topic at the time of their convenience.
7. Fewer Meetings, More Office Breaks
Several reports suggest that too many meetings in the remote working setup often hamper the productivity of employees, and therefore, employers must be mindful of how many meetings and breaks an employee gets during any given day. The overuse of virtual communication tools and too much screen time often cause fatigue among employees.
Employees working from home seek some break from daily meetings that often hamper their capability and efficiency. This not only helps them focus on their task and activities, but also allows them more time to focus on work-life balance as well as upskilling. Therefore, decision-makers must try to build a roadmap of how to reduce the number of unnecessary meetings.
8. No More Extended Working Hours
On one hand, remote work allows people from different time zones to work more coherently, but at the same time it makes it a little challenging for everyone to adjust as per their fellow team member’s time zones. This often results in extended working hours for some employees, and this has been a major reason behind employees suffering employee burnout and fatigue.
Remote workers find it extremely difficult to extend working hours beyond their standard time duration. Therefore, it becomes quite necessary to draft more flexible remote work policies that do not compel employees to extend working hours.
9. Occasional In-office Workdays
Numerous companies have already asked their employees to work from office premises on a specific number of days in a week. This helps employees to stay more connected with their teams and colleagues. Such a policy may keep on changing as per emerging business needs and health advisory.
However, one must not forget that in the longer duration of time, employees would look forward to annual or bi-annual meetups. This brings forth the significance of drafting occasional in-office workdays strategies, which can help employees meet their team and connect with them on a more personalized note.
10. Be Prepared for Post-pandemic Office Activities
Although experts are yet to make an opinion on the end date of the pandemic, it is believed that the impact of pandemic, and the change that it has brought, will continue to stay for a long time. Businesses across regions and realms may continue to leverage the benefits of remote workforce trends; however, they must also be prepared for some office activities in the post-pandemic era.
Research has revealed that some employees are looking forward to resumption of normal office work on an occasional basis in the post-pandemic era. Herein, choosing a comparatively smaller office space for accommodating a specific set of employees on a frequent basis can be quite cost-efficient and helpful for organizations.
Make the Most of Remote Work Culture
It makes complete business sense to embrace remote working and leverage its benefits. On one hand, it gives employers an opportunity to rationalize costs and operational expenditures. On the other hand, it allows employees to maintain a decent work-life balance, while working efficiently. More importantly, the remote work setup has successfully been able to foster better community health and safety. Therefore, remote work culture will always continue to attract decision makers’ attention.
Therefore, companies must try to draft efficient, all-inclusive business policies that can help them harness the true potential and compelling benefits of remote working. Besides, it becomes even more important to invest in the right tools and technologies that can lay a strong foundation for your remote workforce to collaborate. Finding the right set of people, policies, and technologies will determine the success of any organization that is embracing remote work culture.
Apart from drafting all-inclusive policies and investing in the right technologies, organizations must also pay due attention to securing their virtual work environment which is very much vulnerable to cybercrimes. Companies must also pay attention towards empowering, upskilling, and training their employees to help them better embrace remote work culture in a skillful manner. All these will not only help an organization make the most of the current situation but also enable them to stay more futuristic.
Currently, the majority of organizations and employees across the globe are highly inclined towards remote workforce trends. Considering the benefits it bestows, it is quite clear that decision-makers across verticals would continue looking forward to its benefits. More importantly, remote work statistics reveal that the majority of new generation workers are indeed more interested in remote job opportunities. Therefore, organizations must start considering this to prepare adeptly for the future.
Make Costs and Profits Go Hand in Hand at Your Enterprise. Download the eBook to Know More.