A new Gartner study of 229 Human Resources managers found that 41% of staff are expected to continue their careers doing remote work post-Covid, at least part time. This shows around 11 percent increase when compared to the 30 percent of staff who was working remotely before the pandemic begun at least part time.
Yet with all the efforts that many businesses have made to switch to a long-term remote work paradigm, some obviously cannot — and I’m not only thinking about positions that require a physical appearance. These are some of the indicators that your company, your employees or both are not ready to accept this trend.
Your Team’s Efficiency Relies Heavily on Teamwork
Collaboration tools are fantastic. At my business, we utilize many of them, internally as well as with customers and suppliers, and in most instances I have found them to be extremely useful and effective. But there’s a lot to say about the energy and effectiveness of physically getting together just to debate, discuss, come up with innovative ideas, and develop.
Many types of jobs, and staff, rely more on collective approaches to reaching objectives than others. For instance, consider ads — the rapid-fire process of tossing ideas off each other, writing and matching words or phrases on whiteboards and notes, creating and delivering a narrative — can these things be done with remote work? Absolutely. Could they be done any better? No.
Networking is the main component in teamwork, and as innovative as all the latest interactive communication infrastructure is, there’s just no better, quicker, easier, simpler collaborative channel than good old-fashioned communications in person.
You’re not ready to invest in the tools you require
Working from home can deliver a variety of advantages, including reduced overheads, but such reductions come with a cost. Getting a large number of staff working remotely poses a significant technology problem that cannot be ignored. The estimated cost of data breaches is $3.92 million as per the 2019 IBM Security / Ponemon Institute Cost of Data Breach Report. The Juniper Research report estimated that this burden would surpass $150 million by 2020, based on the long-term financial effects and resolution initiatives.
Remote work involves relying on at-home or public Wi-Fi networks, because workers are reluctant to get the required security to deter cyberattacks. In fact, the risks associated with increased workplace usage dependency on communication devices are such a danger that companies such as Facebook, SpaceX, and NASA have prohibited staff from utilizing them to minimize the likelihood of breaches.
You will need to determine that your company consistently has the resources to provide direct access to IT and logistical assistance to the employees including repairs and updates. If not, you’ll potentially end up with an unproductive, dissatisfied workforce.
Your staff are not on board
The switch from a traditional to an unconventional workplace isn’t easy or convenient for many staff. Especially those adjusted to a formal office atmosphere can be confused, understandably, by the degree of flexibility found in this setting.
Other specific reasons workers would not be in favor of remote work include feeling a sense of community and maintaining an office, and not providing a home office — or a space or money to build one. Asking them is the most straightforward way to assess the value the workers have in remote work in the long term. To include them in the conversation will help persuade the decision and improve morale.
A more small but significant sign that a remote work arrangement is probably not fit for your company when you see detached, pessimistic, or emotional language coming from members of the team after they have been expected to work remotely for some time. Look for a change from mild to absolute. An instance would be if the usual answer to a deadline request from an employee was “It’s going to be tight but I’m going to do what I can,” but it became “It’s impossible—there’s no chance I can get it finished in time.”
You cannot devote yourself to new ways of working
The decision to relocate to an alternate organizational structure should be guided by not only the job performed by the company and the individuals who do it, but also by how the style of management of the leadership team is suitable for this system.
For examples, how does a lack of physical appearance influence the way staff are judged in terms of performance evaluations, promotions and other developments? On this subject, IBM marketing director Kevin Rirey said, “We’ve always compensated for success, so when you’re in a conventional workplace setting and see the work employees put into a task, it’s really hard not to compensate them for the work at least in part. They don’t want to do it now. They’re concentrating a lot more on performance than on commitment, but it’s a challenging switch.”
It is a big choice for the business to decide whether and how to incorporate a remote work process. Of course it’s the subject of the present time, but try not to get reeled into the “knowledge” of it all. Instead, take stock of the needs, goals and capacities of your organisation and weigh everything against the short- and long-term risks and benefits that this transition would bring.