The lasting impact of remote work on businesses
In a recent Institute of Director’s report, at least 79 percent of business leaders say they expect to use remote working in the long term. The move to remote working comes as no surprise, particularly since we have seen accelerated mass adoption driven by the worldwide pandemic in the last few years. However, now as the pandemic wanes and businesses contemplate just how well a remote working setup has worked for their operations, more companies are jumping on board in support of remote working. Whether it is investing in technology for the business or redesigning the employee onboarding and training board, here is what remote working truly means for businesses.
The rise of remote working
By the end of 2022, approximately 25 percent of professional jobs will be remote. Projections by data scientists at Ladders also revealed that remote working is set to increase exponentially in 2023 and the coming years. Prior to the pandemic, remote jobs encompassed only 4 percent of high-paying jobs. Fast forward to today and the number has now reached 15 percent. As consumers and businesses embrace digitalization, the move to remote working is unavoidable. Employees of all walks of life have found innovative ways to work remotely from their homes like designing effective home workspaces in confined areas or smaller apartments. Gone are the days when those that have a home office had to have ample space and particular skill levels.
People management will rise with remote working
Remote working has reduced the number of sick days and introduced new employee well-being challenges including mental health and work burnout. The way businesses approach employee management will have to change as businesses with remote working will face unique challenges in their new work setup. As a result, businesses will begin to invest more in employee wellness beyond the standard employee benefits package offered.
There is also the issue of blurred work-life balance. Around two-thirds of employees who are working remotely say they are afraid to take sick days. On the bright side, the increased productivity and cost savings being enjoyed by businesses thanks to reduced employee sick days could help to compensate for the increased spending in these new areas.
Employee recognition and performance measurement dynamics will shift
The landscape for a business’ HR department and their task of employee performance management will also change with the introduction of remote working. The issue of quantity over quality when validating an employee’s performance at work will be tested. This is because remote working may give employees better work-life balance and introduce discussions like working core hours. On one hand, research has found that increased flexibility can result in higher productivity levels. However, the way businesses measure employee performance will need to adjust. It will no longer focus on the number of hours an employee puts in but rather move to include achievement of KPIs, goals, and commitment to the team.
Commercial real estate will experience a significant drop
As most companies move to a hybrid or fully remote work setup, companies will look to reduce their commercially leased office space. As the demand for office space declines, commercial real estate businesses will grapple with the continuous decline and seek alternative options for commercial spaces. With atleast 30 percent of workers indicating that they intend to continue working remotely in the long term, the decline in demand for commercial space is set to be here to stay.
While the demand for commercial space may dwindle, it must be noted that not every company is adopting a fully remote approach. Millions of companies are now investing in coworking spaces and hotdesking. With so many moving parts still to settle, all of the impacts of remote working are still to be felt.