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Today, remote and flexible work arrangements are seen as a perk.
In 2018, a survey showed that around 3 percent of Americans worked from home on a regular basis. Due to technological advancements (starting with Blackberry), employees were working from everywhere, the subway, the café, home and during the commute.
But even after we have the technology required for remote working for about fifteen odd years, we have been slow to adopt mainstream remote working. The mass-adoption needed a catalyst, and that was provided in 2020 in the form of a deadly disease.
While remote work has a lot of benefits like reduced commute, time efficiency and safety, many conclude that the richness of in-person interaction is irreplaceable, and many studies do seem to confirm that people in the office just get more done.
Face-to-face interactions help employees communicate and bond, making them think, investigate, synthesize, write, plan, organize and brainstorm together, something the best of technology finds hard to match with people in remote locations in their pyjamas.
In many remote working environments, employees are reduced to their email addresses and/or slack handles, delegated with work which can easily overload them due to the current unstable situation across the world already complicating life, and most people having their kids at home.
Offices, on the other hand, have the advantage of the personal touch, with long back and forth emails are usually avoided, with a spontaneous conversation working out well.
Modern city life has placed the office as a place where adults interact, hang out, and work together, getting into friendships and relationships in the process.
These benefits of an office, where our emotional needs are being fulfilled, are being deprived by the concept of remote working.
The new remote worker may find that there is unnecessary demand for his attention and attendance, bordering on intrusive, while he is trying to work remotely.
A good way to handle this is to consolidate your appointments in the second half of a day, and provide yourself a set of hours for actual productive work (known as flow). Constant email back and forth all day won't be productive.
Good collaborative softwares like Trello, Microsoft Flow and others, make tasks appear in a more transparent manner.
Apart from software, how an employee is managed remotely by a boss also matters. The best way is to provide employees with clear goals and then leave them alone to use their own approach and creativity, while being available in case of any query.
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Companies that fail at remote work focus too much on technology and too little on the process. Successful remote work is based on clear processes that support three core principles.
It can be difficult to explain complex ideas. The lack of face-to-face interaction limits social cues, which may lead to misunderstandings and conflict.
Remote workers should be working in harmony, but people often don't know what others are doing and how everything fits together.
Monitoring software that checks time spent on different applications, chat response time, and keystroke recording is now in great demand.
HR departments worldwide are fueling the use of technology to have a way to control the employees that are now no longer in the office.
Before the Industrial revolution, everyone worked out of their home and sold their goods from there. With the Industrial Revolution came the need for automation and factories, and employ...
Just after WW2, there was a rise in corporate headquarters and larger office spaces and cubicles. During this time, the 8-hour workday was established.
Then came the advancements in computers and technology that lead to remote workers of today. The internet and public WiFi allowed employees to do everything they would in their cubicle, but outside the office. They can also work all hours of the day.
4.3 million people currently work from home in the United States at least half of the time, and this figure has grown by 150% in the last 13 years.
Remote workers tend to have higher engagement rates and higher productivity levels. Once they switch to remote work, they rarely want to become office bound again.