How Startups Can Plan for the Future of Remote Work
While some startups and tech firms were early adopters of remote work, it wasn’t until early 2020 that most of society fully understood the concept. Working from home might have entered the scene out of necessity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but there’s no doubt that the trend, in one iteration or another, is here to stay.
Embracing the telecommuting trend is a wise choice for any company to adopt.
Seemingly overnight, the pandemic thrust millions of people into remote work situations. Some employees struggled to transition to a digital workplace and had to learn how to attend meetings via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Others took the change in stride and adjusted quickly, enjoying the flexibility remote work offered in their daily duties. Little did people know in those early days of the pandemic that the fabric of the entire work environment was changing forever.
Provide Remote Work Opportunities
A few months into the pandemic, many companies decided to embrace a fully remote working policy. It wasn't just due to COVID-19. It was because of the money saved on not renting expensive office space in the city. It allowed businesses to hire the most qualified employees, regardless of their location, and not pay for relocation costs. Employees loved the benefits of remote work, including flexibility and the ability to spend additional time with family.
Watch for this trend to continue following the COVID-19 pandemic. A 2021 survey found that 63% of global companies surveyed plan to make remote work permanent following the pandemic. Additionally, three out of four employees want to work from home two days a week. More than half want to be remote three days a week.
Consider Hybrid Work
Many employers opted to implement a hybrid work model as vaccination rates rose and states decided to ease restrictions. Some businesses opted to keep some employees at home and send others back to the office.
According to the Work Trend Index, 66% of employers are currently redesigning their office space for hybrid work. Employees themselves seem divided on whether returning to work post-pandemic or maintaining flexible work options is the best option.
About 67% of those surveyed stated they wanted to collaborate with more in-person work opportunities, while 73% preferred the flexibility of remote work. Going hybrid appeals to both types of employees, allowing them to select what sort of schedule they prefer. A hybrid model might be a better fit than an exclusively remote option.
Remote Work Makes for Better Productivity
During the worst of the pandemic, when everyone was at home quarantining, people wondered just how working from home would look. Could they be productive at their kitchen table?
Startups and other early adopters of remote work already knew the benefits and how it impacts employee productivity. More often than not, at-home or hybrid work positively impacts productivity.
Survey respondents reported that 55% worked longer hours remotely than when going to the job site. Without the distraction of a busy office or co-workers, employees can better focus on what they’re doing.
On the other hand, this very thing can contribute to an unhealthy work-life balance. Teaming up with HR and training employees about setting up boundaries between work and home is a good way to tackle this challenge. Additionally, it's wise to invest in promising technology to provide real time opportunities for employees to connect and work together beyond email.
Allow Employees to Work From Anywhere
Since the world has primarily embraced remote work, one would think that allowing employees to work from anywhere was a given. However, some employers have been hesitant to adopt this policy. Managers might wonder what to do when they need someone to come in for a meeting or if there's an emergency only a remote worker can solve.
The solution is to allow employees to work from anywhere. Otherwise, do everyone a favour and make the work situation a hybrid model.
Stay Remote to Stay Competitive
Following vaccination rollouts, many prominent tech companies have been divided on proceeding with work policies. Should they send employees back to work, adopt a hybrid model or continue working remotely? The bottom line is to stay competitive, especially in tech. Companies need to offer remote work options for their employees.
One survey found that more than 54% of global employees would consider leaving their job if they didn’t have flexible work options. Embracing remote work is good practice for a company and its employees.
Plan for the Future - Get Started Today
It’s vital to truly embrace remote work to stay competitive in the current job market. Employees want options and will look for startups that offer flexibility in how people can schedule their days. Working from home is here to stay, and companies would be wise to embrace the future.