Companies Need to Continue Offering Remote Work or Risk Losing Workers
All signs point to working from home becoming a permanent fixture in many workplaces. Recent surveys continue to show that the majority of American workers want to see remote work implemented in some way into their workplace. Whether this is a full work from home routine or a hybrid model, employees are now used to the benefits of being able to work from home, at least some of the time.
In fact, working from home is so important to some employees that it could play a major part in deciding whether or not they seek employment elsewhere or continue with their current employer. In a post-pandemic job market struggling to find talented employees willing to work, this could be devastating to companies looking for new hires and wanting to retain top people in the pandemic recovery economy.
Tech giants Twitter and Facebook have already taken proactive measures to ensure that many of their employees will be able to work from home for as long as they’d like, especially if their roles don’t require them to be in the office. Organizations like Google have gone back on plans to return its entire workforce to the office, and others such as Apple have seen major pushback against these same decisions, with many employees opting to leave in search of greener (remote) pastures. This means that businesses across the country are going to need to think long and hard before making any definitive decisions about ditching remote work altogether.
Why working from home is here to stay
The pandemic gave many workers their first taste of being able to work from home, and aside from early challenges associated with organizations not having the required digital infrastructure in place initially, employees have largely gotten used to the amount of flexibility offered by the remote working model. When surveyed, almost two-thirds of American workers reported that they’d like to continue working from home even after the pandemic has subsided, with the majority of respondents reporting that they’d like to do so for non-COVID related reasons.
The ability to work remotely has become an extremely attractive feature for many workers, who may now decide to leave workplaces demanding that all employees return to the office. Remote work showed workers that they could work productively from just about anywhere and that they’d still be able to effectively collaborate and communicate with colleagues. That’s not to mention the many costs avoided by employees with the freedom to work from home, as well as the benefits of a healthier work-life balance enabled by remote work.
With remote work having been introduced to millions of American workers, the prospect of returning to the office for seemingly endless unproductive meetings and enduring hours of miserable commuting each and every week simply isn’t a selling point for workplaces. With many employees having come to expect working from home to be a part of their future, others still being hesitant about returning to the office due to the COVID-related risks it may pose, and a nationwide labor shortage, organizations need to weigh the pros and cons of offering a remote work model rather than making decisions informed only by emotion, comfort or instinct.
Why the flexibility of remote work is a positive one for the workplace
Before nixing the remote working model altogether, business owners and managers need to understand that most workers in favor of keeping it around aren’t using it as an opportunity to “slack off” or run some sort of elaborate side hustle. Instead, employees are increasingly for working from home because of the unparalleled flexibility it offers. For many, working in an office stifles flexibility with its unflinching rigidity, making it far more difficult to spend quality time with loved ones, find time for appointments and other personal life commitments, and create a healthy work-life balance.
When working from home, employees are more inclined to have time for their loved ones, take a walk away from their desk for a few minutes, get some quick exercise in between meetings or tasks, and even take care of minor household chores without decreasing their own productivity. The ability to address personal emergencies should also not be overlooked. When something suddenly goes wrong or takes a direction for the worst during working hours, remote work allows employees to address it immediately and directly rather than sit in the office distracted and demoralized waiting for the opportunity to tackle the problem at the end of the day.
Working from home has also allowed some employees to customize their own schedule, working around “core hours” put into place by employers so they can work in a way that better suits them. Whether this means starting work earlier and taking advantage of the most productive hours of the day or getting an extra hour of sleep and starting later in the morning, this flexibility was never possible with a traditional 9-5 office job.
There are also employees who are desperate to get back into the office after working remotely. These employees tend to thrive better in an in-person setting, either because they are more extroverted or there are too many distractions at home. According to Forbes, about half of employees prefer a hybrid remote work model where they are in the office some of the time and home some of the time.
The benefits of a consistently healthy work-life balance should not be overlooked by employers. Being able to focus on what matters most in the moment and work in a way that better suits your style means that employees are less distracted, stressed out and demoralized during working hours, going a long way in avoiding workplace burnout and allowing them to work more productively, achieve higher standards of work, and generally get the most out of their time at the desk. Coming hot off the heels of a potentially traumatizing global pandemic, it’s probably for the best that workplaces at least consider allowing their employees to continue working from home, even if only for the work-life balance improvements offered.
The best way to make working from home a permanent fixture of your workplace
Open-minded workplaces interested in keeping some form of remote working in their organization don’t need to worry about the unknowns posed by working from home. While the productivity benefits of working from home have been written about time and time again, it can be difficult to prove these benefits without access to the right tools for the job. Additionally, it’s likely that your organization has already invested in the tools that empower a remote workforce and enable collaboration and communication, including cloud-based office suites, CRM solutions, video conferencing tools, and other apps which have now become an important part of your day-to-day operations, but do you really know how they’re being used by employees?
Prodoscore lets you take the unknowns out of remote working so your organization can get it right and make working from home a permanent feature. When integrated with workplace tools like Google Workspace, Office 365, Salesforce, Slack, monday.com, and other essential applications, Prodoscore becomes the most powerful tool in your company’s tech arsenal.
Prodoscore lets you gain increased visibility into how your employees are working, offering actionable productivity insights that tell you how the increased flexibility offered by working from home is impacting your team members, showing you when they’re at their most (and least) productive during the work day, how engaged they are, which tools they’re using (and not using), who might be at risk of burning out or becoming disengaged, and how remote employee performance matches up to those working in the office.
This contextualized data allows you to make informed decisions more confidently about things like additional training, employee coaching, deciding which apps and tools are needed or not needed, and what the future holds for remote work in your workplace. Prodoscore also lets you hold your remote workforce accountable, making it easier for you to identify long and short-term trends and truly understand the benefits and detriments of working from home. This helps management make difficult decisions about things like returning some employees to the office, allowing hybrid work models rather than full-time models, or even increasing the scope of your work from home arrangements.
When it comes to the future of remote work in your organization, you don’t have to settle for hasty decisions made solely based on gut feelings or a yearning to “return to normal.” With Prodoscore, you can take the guesswork out of these major decisions and let actionable insights based on contextualized productivity data guide you so you can make decisions rooted in data. The unparalleled visibility offered by Prodoscore makes it possible to allow your employees to continue enjoying the flexibility of working from home while holding them accountable for their actions and decisions.
To find out more about how Prodoscore can help make working from home a permanent fixture of your business, get in touch with us today.