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Will Working Remotely Become A New Normal?
Due to the nature of COVID-19, many offices have had to transition to a work from home environment in order to maintain the health and safety of their employees. As the world now begins to open back up and companies are working to go back to “business as usual,” many business owners are being faced with the question as to whether or not transitioning back to the office is the best solution for their company’s continued productivity and success.
With many businesses now comfortable with remote work, is it really worth the effort to move back into an office environment? Will remote work become more popular among businesses? At Parmetech, we are facing these questions with the hard facts of remote work.
The Benefits of Working Remotely
Surprisingly, a work from home environment has been shown to benefit many businesses. There have been numerous studies done that show that employees who work at their business office often underperform due to disengagement and distractions commonly associated with an office atmosphere. A remote work policy all but eliminates these distractions, as each employee is isolated in their home office where they can complete daily tasks without interruptions.
What’s more, businesses can save on costs when employees are engaging in remote work policies. In order to maintain a physical office, business owners usually spend a grand total of about $12,000 per employee per year, according to CBRE. With employees responsible for their own office space, businesses can save on costs that can be put toward other office needs such as updating technologies such as printers and multifunction devices for their staff.
The Drawbacks of Remote Work
There are plenty of arguments against remote work that make the topic of adopting this practice into regular business so controversial. Some disadvantages to remote work include the complications that can arise from this environment, such as timekeeping, information security, and communication. Working from home creates a distance from the office that has both a positive and negative effect on employees.
While studies show that staff members in a work from home environment are happier, more engaged in their work, and more productive in their day to day activities, they are also given more organizational responsibilities that can be difficult to stay on top of. Employees working in a remote environment must keep track of their time either through personal platforms or with one that is company-provided. Staff members are also responsible for handling and disposing of sensitive company information without leaving room for the risk of identity theft or a data breach.
Perhaps the most important aspect of a business’s success is the ability to communicate among staff and management. Poor connection, whether through a network or phone, can complicate this process. While businesses save on costs for IT services in a remote work environment, employees are then faced with the challenge of being their own IT team. While remote workers are more productive than office workers, that productivity can come to an abrupt halt if there is a network failure.
For businesses wanting to adopt a work from home lifestyle, it’s important to have guidelines in place to follow to keep things running smoothly. Before transitioning out of the office, it’s important for business owners to have a conversation with their staff where they answer key questions such as :
What technologies are necessary for our employees to have in their home office?
What Will the New “Normal” Look Like for Businesses?
As the world is reopening and businesses are faced with the choice of whether to go back up the office or keep workers remote, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each scenario. Each individual business owner will have their own unique needs that will determine what choice they ultimately make! It’s important for both management and staff to keep an open mind during this time as we all try to navigate our new “normal” in the workplace.