Remote work keeps booming
With the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work is taking over the modern workforce. Even though digital technologies and collaboration tools have been around for a while, the Coronavirus pandemic became the turning point for organizations to accelerate and reshape the way we all work, allowing company leaders worldwide to see that working from work doesn’t necessarily affect productivity and that offices and face-to-face interactions are not as essential for business as everyone previously thought.
Little by little, the paradigms of work have been changing for over a decade: people now have multiple jobs throughout their professional careers and need to renew their knowledge and skills regularly. Additionally, work processes are now project-focused and agile, diluting more and more the traditional hierarchical structures in organizations. Knowledge is no longer a resource of a restricted group of employees such as business leaders and managers. The new connected world we live in has unleashed a new knowledge approach: intelligence is now collective, emerges from the collaboration and joint efforts of many individuals and plays an important role in decision making. The future of work will value the voice of the employee equally as the voice of the CEO’s, and bring along a new set of needed skills, capabilities, and expertise.
As working from home becomes more widespread to prevent and control COVID-19, videoconferencing, and communication tools are common items on our agendas. Does this mean that we are already in the future of work? And is this fast shift into digital transformation going to endure when we enter a new normal? While we are still figuring out the answers for questions of the like one thing is certain: work will never be the same.
Adopting communication technologies
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the use of a variety of technological resources such as Slack, Zoom, Teams, Hangout, and various AI, among others, have increased exponentially, tools that have been around for years only to be considered ‘helpful but unnecessary’ tools. A study of 2017 found that 62% of remote workers would like their employers to provide better tech so that they could connect better with co-workers. Keeping teams connected and engaged with proper technology seems to be one of the biggest challenges of remote work currently. Once we’re all fully connected, many people might not want to go back to the office again! According to Buffer (2018), a surprising 99% of remote workers would prefer to stay remote, at least part-time, for the rest of their careers. If this will be the reality of the majority of the worldwide workforce, it remains unknown.
All about work-life balance
One of the main advantages of remote work is the possibility to balance work with private life. It was the number one reason remote workers said preferred working from home last year, whereas, in 2018, nearly four-in-five active workers said that remote work has been beneficial for their overall health and wellbeing. Once people get comfortable balancing work-life, they may feel happier living this way. The current shift into remote working will make many companies assess and value remote-working processes to keep their workforce happy and engaged.
With remote working, another permanent shift towards a more employee-centric organization arrived. The wellbeing of employees is now essential to business success. The UK Health and Safety Executive reported that, in 2018/19, only in the UK, 12.8 million workdays were lost due to stress, depression, or anxiety. Hence, when figures such as 80% of remote workers claim to be happy with their jobs compared to 55% of office workers, we can’t deny remote working is a way of building a more productive workforce in the future.
But has the Future of Work already arrived? Even though we still can't predict how the future of work will be once the pandemic is over, several shifts involving technology and employee wellbeing are certainly here to stay to ensure remote and office employees keep engaged with their jobs and productive. Now the real question is how many of them will prefer to continue working from home. Maybe the answer will surprise us.
How about your organization? Is it ready for the transition into the future of work? niikiis can help you address the digital transformation of your organization through effective remote onboarding technology.
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As we enter the Future of Work, companies will face multiple new challenges: download our infographic on the eight shifts you should get ready for, share it with your team, and onboard everyone faster and better.
The Business Transformation Network has shared this article in partnership with niikiis.