The work environment today differs from that of our forefathers. Thanks to the rise of digital technology, coupled with the millennial generation, work dynamics have shifted. In earlier times, it was customary to exhibit punctuality, put in long hours at the office, and finish tasks while physically present at work. The duration of one’s presence in the workplace was often deemed as a measure of their work ethics.
Popular culture has coined the term “Connected Generation” for the millennials, who are embracing the digital era as they reach adulthood. They have grown up with technology and are enthusiastic about digitalization and all its opportunities. Their perception of work is a far cry from the conventional workspace; physical office spaces do not define them, and they prefer their productivity to be evaluated based on accomplishments, rather than hours spent sitting at a desk.
Is it Effective?
Companies are adapting to the present market landscape by overhauling their approaches. The populace now welcomes the idea of a modern workplace and seeks the services of talented employees, irrespective of where they reside. The popularity of this trend is burgeoning at an extraordinary pace, and some projections propose that by 2023, at least half of the workforce will be remote, in some way or the other.
Substantiated research advocates for the efficacy of this inventive method of employment:
- It resulted in increased productivity. According to two-thirds of managers overseeing remote staff, employees are more effectual when they work from home.
- ConnectSolutions conducted a study which showed that 30% of telecommuters feel that they are more productive when they work from home or another physical location apart from the office. They are of the opinion that they can discharge their duties more efficiently when not operating in a conventional office setting.
- In regards to telecommuting, 82% of workers claim to experience reduced stress levels, when compared to working in an office setting.
- Companies that grant their employees the ability to work remotely save funds on office overheads.
- Other than the benefits of remote work on the environment, it also saves expenses on gas and electricity.
- Upwork, a renowned freelance job board website, conducted a study which unveiled that companies are increasingly in search of virtual and remote employees from all over the globe, to bolster their skills gaps. This inclination highlights the burgeoning popularity of remote work and the accompanying benefits of cost and flexibility it presents companies with.
In spite of the several perks of remote work, it is necessary to tackle other hurdles to guarantee that employees are comfortable and appreciated in their positions within the organisation. Establishing a coalesced and effective atmosphere wherein each worker contributes towards the company’s end vision and objectives can be a challenging feat, especially when working remotely. To ensure triumph, it is vital to offer the appropriate tools and a structured framework that facilitates communication and collaboration.
Below is a sort of checklist which signifies that a company has an exceptional remote office culture:
1. Our advanced technologies provide us with a robust communication infrastructure.
Frequent communication among far-flung staff and their supervisors carries numerous advantages.
- On a professional level, it assists in keeping track of coworkers’ progress in terms of job completion.
- Managers can provide their teams with motivation and inspiration, bridge any resource gaps, and resolve issues.
- It is akin to having a meeting in a physical office location, except with greater potential for inventive troubleshooting.
- Encouraging casual conversation can promote social interactions among colleagues, which is a critical aspect of fostering a sense of safety and wellness. It is vital to bear in mind that millennials today are well-versed in utilising a myriad of communication technologies to socialise with their family and friends, such as phone calls, text messaging, and video conferencing. With the use of video conferencing technologies, remote workers can now connect with each other, exchange ideas, and cultivate stronger professional relationships.
Numerous resources are accessible that can help establish an atmosphere in which workers feel linked to the company, and wherein teamwork and relationships can thrive. An informed supervisor will utilise these resources to guarantee that workers feel safe and appreciated in the organisation.
2. Appointed “check-in” times must be adhered to at all times.
It is crucial to conduct group meetings through video conferencing on a regular basis. While managers employ this medium of communication regularly, it may be less frequent for certain organisations. Nonetheless, scheduling these meetings in advance with compulsory attendance is significant since it serves as a forum for exchanging information, generating ideas, and cultivating relationships.
3. Coaching sessions are arranged when required.
Establishing a successful work-life balance and overcoming other challenges may prove especially challenging for first-time remote personnel. A perceptive and knowledgeable manager should be aware of how to develop a supportive and positive environment wherein their employees feel at ease discussing any issues they might face without apprehension of reproach or repercussions. An efficient and compassionate manager will foster mutual trust with their remote team and extend support during any rough times without being judgmental.
4. Whenever possible, there are opportunities for face-to-face meetings:
Hosting retreats and similar events twice a year can facilitate better relationships amongst remote employees and their managers, as well as between colleagues working in different remote locations. Additionally, conducting a national conference that all remote personnel can join can provide more than just professional development opportunities, but also help in building and strengthening bonds between remote staff.
5. Communication is two-way.
It is imperative to provide means for remote workers to submit their feedback in a secure environment that is free from any intimidation. As enlightened managers take time to offer feedback to their employees, including through official performance reviews, remote employees also deserve attention to their opinions and feedback, which should actively be sought out and addressed. Such measures have the potential to boost remote workers’ morale and foster a sense of loyalty and trust, as they feel that their viewpoint is valued.
According to Neightan White, CEO and founder of Supreme Dissertations:
Our authors and researchers are an indispensable part of our organisation, and we would be at a loss without them. They are all remote personnel, and it is critical that we ensure their satisfaction. To meet their expectations, we have implemented an open and transparent feedback mechanism. This has enabled us to improvise their work environment, enhance their capabilities, and make our management more efficient.
6. The company’s goals, vision, and progress are regularly communicated to the employees.
Irrespective of the working environment, employees of all types seek to be recognised and acknowledged. By continuously updating remote personnel on the company’s accomplishments, events, and updates, it helps in establishing a sense of belonging and shows how their individual contributions aid in attaining organisational objectives.
At Works, we value acknowledging our staff’s efforts, irrespective of their location. To appreciate our employees, we periodically circulate newsletters, recognising their accomplishments, communicating corporate news, and offering monetary and other rewards. This creates an environment of team spirit within the organisation and instills a sense of excellence in each of our employees.
The Current Normal: Remote Work
As we advance into the 21st century, the conventional idea of a workplace is bound to change. Telecommuting is gaining significant attention, and it need not hinder productivity or the sustenance of organisational culture. With an appropriate work culture in action, businesses can attract, employ, and retain skilled professionals who prefer working remotely. This approach can alleviate feelings of isolation and detachment, provided the six critical conditions are fulfilled.