Wonderful world of remote work

The workplace is changing, and the workforce has already adapted in subtle but meaningful ways. In the past decade, we’ve seen a surge of new technologies, new global hurdles to overcome and changes to corporate day-to-day, including four-day work weeks. It’s no surprise that the strongest driver of change has been the technology that we’ve used. As a workplace, we are more connected than ever before, but there’s a long road ahead to continue to smoothly integrate hybrid and remote workspaces as we face more challenges and changes. In order to understand where we’re headed, we must look at the past for insight.

Remote work is not slowing down in the 2020s. Remote work and changes in how we work are expanding. In a short period of time, the pandemic seemed to test and show the world that much of the traditional work performed in a variety of industries can be done remotely; and, at times, with higher productivity. Not only did it show some merits of remote work, but it also forcibly trained most of the global workforce in the relevant technologies through necessity.

Some companies are asking employees to return to the office, but the realities discovered in the pandemic are not forgotten by employees. As many as 60% of job respondents are actively seeking remote work. A ZipRecruiter study showcases that highly educated workers preferred to work remotely and found companies and industries where remote work is prevalent, such as those in tech, business and finance.

Worker preferences have not always ruled the realities of the workplace, however, productivity is crucial for companies that want to remain competitive. And workers are more productive at home – a Stanford University study found that working from home full-time was equivalent to adding a full day of productivity per week. Aside from improvements in productivity, those remote employees are reaping benefits in quality of life. They commute less and find more time to rest. The same study finds that those workers are as much as 50% more likely to stay with their employer because they were more comfortable at home and better able to spend time with family and friends. It should be very interesting to note how these shifts impact the traditional agglomerations of talent in key city locales.

Remote teams offer a deeper, worldwide talent pool. Some companies are already adding a “Remote Working Officer” to the C-Suite to improve the quality of remote work. Remote environments create some gaps to fill in the workplace in how we communicate and build trust. Many teams will be meeting partially remote and partially in-person as hybrid teams for the foreseeable future. Those meetings can be much richer with the right ways to bridge the trust and communication gaps in being heard.

It is clear that remote work is not ending, but it is changing. The path forward is unique to each organization, and leaders will have to make a decision about what works for their organization and mission and be flexible to change. As the world continues towards a new work model, organizations that do not remain flexible and agile will fall behind. At Poll Everywhere we’ve seen organizations’ connectivity blossom and grow stronger through virtual team bonding strategies , and changing the way their meetings are run to focus on what’s best for the productivity of their employees. We believe in the power of versatile solutions that empower employees from all corners of the workplace.