You may be surprised to hear that since 2005, remote work has grown by 140%. Why? Remote work allows companies to hire and retain top talent in a competitive marketplace. It also saves money for employers while increasing employee satisfaction. Remote workers are 13% more productive than onsite workers and companies can save up to $11,000 per remote employee per year. These same studies show that remote workers are happier and are more likely to stay in their jobs.
Not all companies and team members have had a remote work experience, however. As we prepare for weeks (and possibly months) of remote work due to the COVID-19 crisis, the change in status quo will be jarring for companies, leaders, and employees who are not ready to work from home. While some segments of the workforce are well prepared for this change as they already support a remote workforce, others are scrambling to cobble together a solution to maintain their employees’ productivity.
It isn’t just Tech and IT companies that are reacting to this change. Colleges across the world are moving to 100% remote classrooms, restaurants are transitioning to takeout and delivery only, and Real Estate Agencies are shifting to remote tours and limiting open houses. This all requires a transition to mobile and remote work. Each case requires companies to plan for how to manage themselves and their employees within this shift. While the specific needs will be different, many of the issues and challenges are shared across sectors.
Luckily, there are a ton of tools and techniques to keep work feeling consistent, home feeling like home, productivity up, and employees happy and healthy. Simple structural changes or accountabilities can help us maintain a work life balance at a time where the work life distinction is easily blurred and stay productive when distractions are everywhere.
I’ve been working with remote team members at large tech companies for years and have recently transitioned to remote work myself. In the next couple blog posts, I’ll summarize tips and tricks that have worked for me and my teams to stay happy and productive. The first blog focuses on how companies and leaders can better support their remote workforce. The second blog focuses on how an individual can stay productive and maintain a work life balance even with their routine upended and while they are surrounded by the distractions of their homes, pets, and family members. Although this time is stressful and will require some transition, with the right guidance and planning, both company leadership and employees can feel confident in the energy and productiveness brought by working remotely.
As we prepare for weeks (and possibly months) of remote work due to the COVID-19 crisis, the change in status quo will be jarring for companies, leaders, and employees who are not ready to work from home.
A shift in how employees work can be jarring for any organization. With a little preparation, your organization can be set up for continued success, and it may reveal that remote work is more valuable than you expected.