Why You Need a Remote Work Strategy for the Post-Covid Workplace
Covid19 has sped up the transition from the traditional office to the distributed office. The benefits of remote work are well known - but there are challenges that come from working across different locations. We explore how teams can move to the new paradigm effectively.
We have all experienced sudden massive changes in our businesses due to Covid-19. Many are suffering, while some have pivoted to new areas and some are flourishing. One thing we all have in common is that we have had to swiftly adjust to remote work. With millions of people who had never even thought about it, the sudden shift showed how ill-prepared most of us were.
We’ve been working on the Remotely platform for nearly a year now. Pre-Covid, our focus was on filling the aspirational gap between the way people were working and the future of work. We knew we could make remote work a feasible reality that could be even better than working from a shared physical location. Post-Covid, our goal remains the same, but the future of work is now.
Will your business return to the old ways as soon as possible, or embrace a sustainable remote work strategy?
Five immediate benefits of integrating remote work into your business
There is a lot to be learned from the Covid-19 workplace that can improve the way we do business. To build a business model that will last through these times and endure into the future, you need to embed remote work strategy into your business NOW. Here’s why:
Be prepared for the next crisis
We engage in scenario planning for natural disasters – floods, earthquakes, fires – to make sure there is a plan for our workplaces if any of these should occur. In the U.S. and many other countries, businesses plan how to react to workplace shootings.
The Covid-19 crisis has shown that most of us were not prepared for the abrupt change in the way we work. Health threats are not a new problem – scientists have even found evidence of influenza as far back as 1200 B.C. – but we have witnessed just how quickly these threats can spread in our world of easy global travel.
This will not be our last crisis. This is not to dwell on the negative, but to be realistic. A remote work strategy is now just as crucial as our traditionally required health and safety plans so that you and your staff know how to respond in future.
Build a sustainable model
Businesses that expect to survive need to be able to continue working through disruptions. With the frequency of global crises increasing, our business models have fallen into a pattern of building up the business, suffering a crisis, recovering and building up again. We must have a more sustainable business model that can absorb some of the effects of these disruptions.
You have an opportunity to build a remote work strategy into your business practice now to familiarize your staff with the systems and enable your business to function without interruption for the long-term.
Keep your staff happy
Remote work is gaining in popularity and if your company doesn’t engage, you stand to lose your best staff to your biggest competitors. A study in the U.S. showed that 74% of workers would quit their job to work remotely.
In addition, there’s the time spent commuting and its effects on mental health. A study in the UK, where the average commute is 1 hour 38 minutes, found that workers with long commutes were 33% more likely to suffer from depression and 37% more likely to have financial worries. They were also more likely to be obese and not getting adequate sleep.
We’ve now experienced the benefits of remote work. Let’s retain those benefits – and our staff - in the post-Covid workplace.
Do good for the environment
The hypothesis that fewer cars on the road has a positive effect on the environment has been proven. The clarity of our air has visibly improved without smog created by thousands of cars. How do we accept going back to the norm of driving for hours every day, polluting the air and wasting our valuable time?
Why would we accept that?
We have an opportunity to change the way we do things to see improvements right now and for future generations.
Business growth without cost
Sounds too good to be true right? But some businesses will flourish during this time. If your current office space holds 100 employees and they spend half of their week in the office and the other half working remotely, you have empty office space for half the week – and the ability to fill it with another 100 staff who work the opposite schedule. Half the work force is in the office while the other half works remote. Your physical requirements stay the same, while you have double the capacity for staff.
It is not without challenges
We’re experiencing a global social experiment in remote work and the challenges it presents have become clear. ‘Zoom fatigue’ (although it applies to any video interface) now exists. The unprecedented use of video technology is showing the whole population just how exhausting it is to communicate all day without natural verbal cues while speaking to our cameras. This unnatural conversation is taxing our brains. Isolation and frustration with tools are common complaints.
You now have the opportunity to move forward taking what we’ve learned about remote work from the Covid-19 crisis and using it to improve your business’ chance for success in the post-Covid world.
How to incorporate remote work into your business now
There are simple things you can start doing to build a remote work practice for your business. Can some of your team work remotely now? Could you perhaps bring everyone into the office at 10:00 and then have them all working remotely again by 1:00? Brainstorm with your staff. It’s time to think outside the box that is the office, and expand your capabilities.
Remotely is the tool you need to make it happen. Combining existing tools into an immersive 3D ecosystem creates the perfect environment for remote collaboration. Get early access to Remotely today to get started on the path to success in the post-Covid workplace.