Is At Home Work the New Normal for Businesses?
Although the pandemic sent workers home, an interesting aftermath is just beginning to formulate. What’s happening? Surprisingly, many businesses are finding that it’s a great idea to keep things remote. In fact, there are major businesses that are already forming new and permanent policies for at home work.
Personally, this thrills me. Only 10 years ago, I was telling someone on social media that I envision a world where working from home is the norm. Although I had no idea that it might take a pandemic, remote work is actually turning out to be a positive turn of events for some businesses.
If you’re one of these permanent remote workers or want to be one, this is information you might find interesting. I invite you to continue reading to learn more about major businesses that are forming policies for permanent at home work.
At Home Work is Fast Becoming the New Norm
Zuckerberg Predicts Facebook Will Be 50% Remote by 2025 “Given that people are going to be remote working for a while, I just kind of feel like we have to get good at it. And given that long-term, this is a direction that I think we’re going to want to go in more anyway, it just seemed like we should move forward.”— Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook
In addition to Facebook, below are some other “big businesses” that are reconfiguring for permanent remote work.
- Google now rotates employees with facilities at 10% occupancy.
- All Twitter employees now work from home.
- REI Co-op is leaning into remote work as the norm.
- Pinterest let go of office space leases and is rethinking remote work.
What Does the Future of At Home Work Look Like?
Based on this information, it’s unlikely that remote work will go away when the pandemic is a thing of the past. While this isn’t possible for every profession or skill, it is possible for some with the use of modern technology. But, when we say modern technology, what does that look like?
Businesses must identify what additional support remote workers need, especially if is it is a company requirement. Here are some of the considerations:
- Providing computers, printers, and monitors that are industry standard for the type of work.
- Reimbursing costs such as ink, paper, and use of personal equipment.
- Reimbursing staff so they can meet employer requirements to outfit their home offices.
Microsoft Teams and Mural for brainstorming are a few of the popular apps that are currently in use by businesses for remote work. In addition, many companies have IT departments fast at work to build new apps to make work at home a viable way of doing business in our modern world.
⎆ The Downside
Isolation and being sedentary is the first downside that might bring on health issues for some workers. That ties in with the loss of relationships in the workplace which is hard for some workers who are now at home. Also, while some workers have equipment and rooms at home that they can easily convert into a workspace, that isn’t true for many employees.
There is, of course, also a shift in training employees remotely with the use of technology. But, there is also a necessity for managing work at home employees without being intrusive while allowing for leniency for personal issues during the workday. This is a paradigm shift for many managers but when people work at home, there is a whole new set of family dynamics. This requires management to set goals and direction rather than micromanaging.
In addition, there is the consideration of new HR policies and procedures. These are important not only for at home work but also for retraining both managers and employees.
⎆ The Upside for Employers
- Remote work opens up a new employee source for businesses. Remote workers don’t have to be local so there is a much larger pool from which to select.
- Companies must no longer pay for huge buildings, utility expenses, or manual labor costs that go into maintaining those buildings. This is a plus for many company owners.
- Employers may expect increases in productivity and better retention with less turnover of employees.
⎆ The Upside for Employees
- Employees don’t have to get up early and experience the stress of commuting plus, there’s more time for family and pets.
- Remote work also lowers the cost of insurance, maintenance, and gas for vehicles. It also saves on parking and lunches.
- There is, of course, a decrease in stress and an increase in job satisfaction along with a better work/life balance.
- Remote work saves time by not traveling or walking to and from meetings during the work day.
The Future of At Home Work
Even though no one likes the experience of the pandemic, is there a silver lining? It seems so in the emerging landscape of at home work becoming permanent, at least for some. So, let’s continue to watch the business landscape to see what new and exciting developments happen.
If you have any questions or suggestions you want to add, please do so in the comments below. Also below are links that take you to more interesting articles about ALL things DESIGN for your home or business.
Images Courtesy of Canva.
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