We are navigating through some uncertain times right now. The outbreak of COVID-19 needs companies to increase corporate resilience, ensure the safety of their employees and do it all virtually!
COVID-19 has reset major work trends and compelled HR leaders to rethink employee management, planning, performance, and strategies. Most of the enterprises across the globe have decided to extend remote working as a business continuity plan in the wake of this pandemic.
Regardless to say, COVID-19 has permanently changed the future of work and the way businesses will operate.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella reflected in early May, “We have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”
However, amid unprecedented job losses, suspension of transport, and rising health concerns, remote working has played a significant role in sustaining businesses.
Let’s understand some future work trends that will rise in the corporate and business sectors.
1. Digitisation and Adoption of Technology
The transition to remote working from mid-March 2020 has witnessed about 25% of workers and small business owners invest in new digital tools. These tools have benefitted the companies to scale and continue with their operations even in these critical times. Digital transformation has led to permanent effects on labour, as businesses see remote working a step into the future.
Alexandra Levit, a workplace expert and futurist, believes that the pandemic has simply accelerated the transformation process. Businesses that haven’t adopted digitisation yet will have to come up with newer ways to restructure the workforce.
To sum up, 94% of business leaders believe that the digital tools and transformation are going to change the need to travel for work in the future, and 85% think that the tools will permanently deliver greater flexibility to work from home in the future.
2. Transitioning towards Hybrid Working
“Will the in-office working model prevail?”
“Will remote working take over the current working model?”
One of the main reasons that enterprises will continue to work remotely even after the pandemic is the feasibility of telecommuting. The transition back to the office will be the bridge to a hybrid workspace. Managers and owners must implement short term actions like strict cleaning protocols, rethinking meeting spaces and updating safety measures.
Moreover, remote working is feasible for anyone with a laptop and a stable internet connection. As the companies restructure office spaces in the future, splitting work between office and home will be unavoidable.
3. Renewed and Fortified Remote Work Policies
Well, now it is quite clear that remote work is here to stay. The uncertainties regarding the pandemic and health concerns make it evident for businesses to continue operating virtually.
74% of enterprises are now considering remote work even after the pandemic gets over.
However, telecommuting has its own restrictions regarding employee performance and productivity.
After months of operating virtually, it has been recorded that 35-40% of remote workers are more productive than people who work in corporate offices.
Thus, companies need to come up with more sustainable work policies for their employees. Enterprises will have to increase virtual work capabilities and reframe responsibilities of individuals and teams to ensure success.
For instance, Twitter has already amended its remote work policies to form a “distributed workforce.”
4. Descend of 9-5 and the Rise of Flexible Working Hours
If we were to pick some takeaways from what the pandemic has taught us, it would be practising better hygiene and functional digitisation of workplaces.
With the restriction on physical interaction amongst employees, the foundation of remote working is built on mutual trust and loyalty. The dated concept of ‘working 9-5’ is slowly fading away.
With increased flexibility and the freedom to work on their own terms, employees are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Additionally, With no time wasted on commuting, workers can spend that time actually working. This reduces unnecessary hassles and furthers mental health.
5. Quality over Quantity
A few months back, employees’ productivity was equal to the sum of total time spent in front of the desk, the number of leaves taken and a bunch of other quantitative aspects. However, these superficial norms have been flipped upside down ever since people started working remotely.
Managers can no longer see what their employees are doing and can not judge their work based on hours spent at the desk or in front of the computer. Employees now have the flexibility to work from anywhere and anytime, when they feel the most productive.
Remote working has introduced a more ‘transparent’ work culture and parameters have become more qualitative. With the advent of ‘result-oriented work culture’, remote working has curbed the need for micromanagement and instilled fresh working practices.
6. Focus on Skill Recognition
The future of work seems brighter than ever because remote working has eliminated the concept of petty office politics and small gossip. The current work from home scenario has pushed companies to follow a more organised, transparent, and unbiased work process.
Employees are communicating openly with their teams and managers to create more result-oriented changes. The only focus is on how strongly the employees are able to turn the tide without engaging in politics and unnecessary small talks.
What is the Future of Remote Working?
“We are going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote working at our scale,” says Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg in an interview. The social media giant will allow as many as 50,000 employees and recruits to work remotely on a permanent basis.
Zuckerburg also anticipates that within the next five to ten years about 50% of Facebook’s workforce will work remotely.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has announced that employees can work from home for as long as they want. Dorsey said it was very unlikely that Twitter would open its offices before September.
A Twitter spokesperson said that the firm had been uniquely positioned to respond quickly and allow work from home for its employees. Adding to that, he says, “So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.”
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Kritagya Pandey is a creative and technical content writer, editor, and strategist. She has been writing on customer experience, customer service, artificial intelligence, cloud communication, and more.
She invests her time researching the current business, market trends, and studying about social media strategies.