Experts insights – The future of the remote work and how does it affect team productivity?

It is quite certain that the Covid-19 pandemic changed how businesses operate and remote work is one of the current topics among companies. And it is obvious that this trend will continue – Upwork predicts that 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025.

Similar oversights can be found in the following studies:

– Guardian – Covid-19 could permanently change the way of working, because companies may face employees who won’t want to return to offices when restrictions are lifted.

– 74% of companies plan to shift some of their employees to remote working permanently. (Gartner)

– Fundera – one study estimates that 73% of all departments will have remote workers by 2028

– Kaspersky’s research found that three-quarters of employees are reconsidering the new normality, inspired by more flexible, adaptable business patterns. That’s why 32% of employees see remote work as the third major advantage that has arisen as a result of the coronavirus. The primary two benefits are spending time with family (47 percent) and saving money (41 percent).

Also, the pandemic has led to digital expansions and made technology crucial.

In the comfort of their homes – from couches, beds, and kitchen tables – people across the world use video chats and conferences instead of meetings.

When people closed work offices and opened home offices, the time of weekly meetings jumped sharply by 10 percent, so it is clear that this pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation.

This approach has shed light on those sectors that traditionally do not belong to the online sphere of work and business.

Covid episodes or an idea for the future?

From the flexibility of work to the feeling of loneliness, there are countless other reasons for and against this new pattern of work.

But how much do all these effects actually affect employee productivity?

Fundera’s study shows that two-thirds of managers report that employees who work from home increase their overall productivity. Also, the following statistics show that remote work positively affects productivity:

– 86% of employees say they’re more productive when working remotely, without office distractions and interruptions (Upwork)

– 68% of hiring managers said that working remotely is better for them, and another 83% said their team or departments have been more effective since going remote. (Upwork,2020.)

– 65% of respondents say they would be more productive working in a home office, while 3% say they would be less productive (FlexJobs, 2018)

It is clear that opinions are divided regarding whether we want to work from home all the time and it’s a fact that this way of working has its pros and cons. So we’ve asked experts to share their insights on this actual theme.

Lori Vande Krol, Productivity Consultant, Life Made Simple LLC, alifemadesimple.com

Lori Vande Krol, Life Made Simple LLC

“The COVID environment we’ve been living in for about a year now has definitely changed expectations, efficiencies, and technology within large and small businesses. Individuals and companies have been forced to implement solutions and technology that may have taken several years in a normal environment, and individuals and teams have gotten more comfortable and productive using them.

In addition, individuals and businesses are saving time and money due to less travel and reduced time in the office. Going forward, I believe many professionals will have the desire to continue to work remotely and businesses will be more willing to allow for this flexibility. It will be vital to continue to improve practices and systems to support communication and productivity whether in or out of the office.”

Victor Purolnik, founder of Trustshoring,trustshoring.comProduct Stories, podcast host

Victor Purolnik, Trustshoring

“Remote work used to be about saving money. First, large corporations opened overseas offices, employing hundreds or thousands of phone support staff, engineers, or analysts. A thriving outsourcing industry was born, with service providers targeting companies who weren’t able to open their own local subsidiaries. That scenery slowly started changing around 2010 when SMBs realized they could delegate simple and also more complex tasks overseas, giving birth to massive freelancer platforms like Upwork.

The future of remote work looks completely different, and the 2020 pandemic has accelerated the current transformation of the remote workspace.

Remote work isn’t (primarily) about saving money anymore. It’s about accessing an international pool of qualified talent, working from any location any given day, and building a new work culture that consists of deep work, asynchronous communication, and goal- and vision-oriented management instead of employee surveillance.

For organizations stuck in old paradigms, it will become harder to attract the new generation of worker, whereas organizations who embrace these values will find themselves popular amongst top talent. As a remote-first company, we have written a complete remote working guide which helps startups and SMBs get started with remote work.”

Ellen Goodwin, Head Productivity Consultant, ellengoodwin.com

Ellen Goodwin, Head Productivity Consultant

“Remote work is here to stay in one form or another and brings many benefits and challenges. Studies show that the majority of people doing remote work for the first time, due to the pandemic, are actually more productive and happier than they were working in an office.

As more details (such as remote worker policies and compensation) get worked out, I believe the satisfaction level will keep increasing. But that’s for the individual. For the teams themselves, there is work ahead to keep them engaged, productive, and happy. Video meeting fatigue, project/work time creep, and being available 24/7 all impact remote workers negatively.

The key to future Team Productivity lies in finding ways for teams to spontaneously interact with each other, to have those serendipitous moments where unique solutions come to life, but to still have time for individual deep-work without being chained to a continuous string of video meetings.”

Dave Buck, Chief Executive of  Kairos Management Solutions kairosmanagementsolutions.com

Dave Buck, Kairos Management Solutions

“Remote work has been around for decades. As a traveling salesperson, I have worked out of a home office for much of my career. I started before the internet and cell phones were widely used. When needed, my employer would bring people together in face-to-face meetings to cover detailed information. I have been a fan of remote work before the concept was broadly considered.

With the ability to communicate, connect and collaborate – the concept of remote work is, even more, a possibility. With the proper education and coaching, companies can train their associates to be self-sufficient and more efficient. In turn, the business will have a happier and more productive workforce.

Not all jobs can be remote (direct manufacturing and civil servants for example), but companies should embrace the concept of remote work.”

Cathy Sexton, Productivity & Profit Specialist, Coach, Speaker, Author, Trainer TheProductivityExperts.com

Cathy Sexton, Productivity & Profit Specialist

“We may find remote working is one positive that came from a very difficult time. Many businesses that never allowed or considered remote working before COVID-19 have realized it is feasible, manageable and, in some cases, even cost effective. Those businesses may have even found employees are more productive working from home. This past year was an opportunity for growth for all of us, and I think many businesses were surprised by how adaptable their teams could be! Going forward, I think we will see more employers who are open to remote work as an option.

Working remotely isn’t without its challenges, but the technology available today makes it easier than ever before for teams to effectively communicate, collaborate, and achieve goals. You just have to identify the challenges and implement common sense strategies to overcome them. It also helps if each worker realizes and acknowledges the role their Natural Productivity Style™ plays in their ability to adapt and thrive under remote working conditions. If they can be open to new ways of doing things and embrace what is, it can be a win-win for everyone involved.

One of the biggest issues remote workers face is controlling their environment while working from home. That was especially difficult for workers with children at home during school closures, but there can be any number of distractions in a work-from-home situation that you don’t have working in an office. It’s all about having a plan, structuring your time to create daily routines that honor both work and family, and creating an environment that supports productivity and success at home.”

To conclude these expert insights, we would like to wish you good luck with developing your business. Let’s grow together!

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