As the world becomes more connected, businesses across the globe are showing greater affinity towards remote working. Companies wouldn’t have expected this paradigm shift in 2019. The remote work culture, which was once considered the “future of work,” has been accelerated by the pandemic COVID 19. In nearly every industry, both employers and workers are benefiting from the advantages of remote work culture.
Thanks to the cutting-edge applications for meetings, CRMs for business continuity, relationship management, and security applications made these achievements possible. Let’s deep dive into this paradigm shift in work culture and rationales for US companies to adopt this shift.
Some of the major reasons for the improved productivity in remote work systems are fewer Interruptions, working in a more comfortable environment, and not having to worry about office drama. These results could create greater confidence among managers as well as remote workers. It is indeed a situation of “no choice” (global curfews) for companies to foster remote work culture but driving from the front end is the critical element – “Accountability” that’s often missing in an out-of-office business model. Other key elements that fuel productivity are employers’ trust and employees’ visibility. Some of the major US companies like Facebook, Twitter, Mondelez, Nationwide, Barclays, etc., have cultivated these key elements amongst their workforce and are opting for a permanent remote working culture for all or half of their population.
From employees’ perspective, Gallup reported that 3 in 5 US workers working remotely during the pandemic would prefer to continue the same if possible in the future. Similarly, as per the PWC’s 2020 report, the vast majority of employers have also highlighted their remote working success by adopting technologies that support remote work. Therefore, it is evident that both employers and employees are working in harmony and are realizing the benefits of remote work culture.
It is a myth that family and professional obligations often pull workers in opposite directions. Remote working alleviates this struggle to achieve balance by offering flexible work schedules, which means that employees have the liberty to choose their preferred work timings. This control over the work schedule can be invaluable when attending to the needs of your personal life. Whether it’s balancing school schedules, medical appointments, or even attending an online fitness class in the morning, it can all be done a little easier when employees work from home.
Another interesting survey conducted by Owl Labs in 2019 found that over 20% of full-time employees in the US are willing to take a pay cut of over 10% to work remotely, at least for some time. Though it happened in 2019, the situation remains favorable for employers even now. The International Workplace Group report found that 80% of U.S. workers say they would turn down a job that is not offering flexible working. This highlights the workforce preference towards flexible working hours or remote work. Hence, it is time for organizations to redefine their corporate HR policies with a degree of flexibility or remote working. This, in turn, would enable them to reap the benefits of cost savings coupled with increased productivity and enhanced work-life balance
So, now that we have seen the key benefits of remote work, let’s examine a few additional statistics pertaining to recruitment:
- 77% of employees consider flexible work schedules when evaluating future job opportunities, as found by Zenefits research
- According to the International Workplace Group survey, 78% of businesses believe flexible working paves way for them to expand their talent pool
New research by the University of Chicago found that over one-third of US jobs – 37% can be done remotely which contributes to over 45% of US wages. On the same lines, Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, and other big organizations have also extended their remote work arrangements. There is a common rationale behind all these companies’ move to remote working – “Safety of the large workforce”.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the average one-way commuting time is 26.1 minutes in the United States of America—that’s nearly an hour each day spent getting to and from work, and it adds up further. According to the Auto Insurance Center, commuters spend about 100 hours commuting and 41 hours stuck in traffic each year. More than 30 minutes of daily one-way traveling is causing mental stress and affects physical health and research also prove that commuting 10 miles to work each day is associated with health issues. Avoiding the commute helps you support your mental and physical health.
It comes without saying if there is less commute – fewer carbon emissions – a plethora of sustainability initiatives go green. Due to the remote work culture across the globe, the world is already witnessing reduced pollution. Being able to experience the results firsthand may be a driver of remote work for everyone involved. Hence, remote work culture is significant for a global environmental cause as well.
I wish I could say that if you agree with the above elements, you should be having a greater affinity towards remote work culture. Remember the internet and technology reached a certain level of ubiquity and affordability, telecommunication became far more common and accepted. But this did not enable companies to implement remote work culture back in 2019. With the advent of COVID 19, the pandemic, companies have rapidly leveraged connectivity tools and technologies to adopt work from anywhere policy. But, at the same time, let’s not forget that not all are willing to work from home. Working from home is “a sign of privilege,” said Schulte, author of the bestseller Overwhelmed: Work, Love & Play When No One Has the Time. Remote work culture does offer the benefits and convenience of no commuting, the ability to do prep work for meals and other housework during leisure time in a day, and the freedom to schedule home maintenance and repair appointments at any time of day. A potential silver lining from the COVID 19 is that both employers and employees are getting more used to the remote work culture. Perhaps a greater acceptance of this culture is required for many jobs and industries. This in turn could enhance the work-life balance and supports individuals to raise a family in tandem with professional aspirations