One of the biggest impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is the way businesses operate. In the uncertain times during the peak of the pandemic, governments around the world announced lockdowns. This meant most businesses had to close their physical doors. It forced business owners to find new and innovative ways to adapt and keep their operations going.
Remote working first started as a forced strategy due to the virus spreading rapidly. It was safer to keep people out of crowded offices and workplaces. But nobody was sure how long this was going to last and if more businesses were going to adopt a permanent remote working approach.
How popular is remote working today?
Even before the pandemic, many businesses were experimenting with remote working for their employees to save money and offer more flexibility to workers. However, it was only a few months into the pandemic that companies really looked into changing their operations to accommodate work from home.
The best way to understand the big shift in how businesses work now is to look at numbers. Here are a few interesting statistics:
- How many companies globally are 100% working remotely today?
According to an Owl Labs Study, 16% of companies globally are now working remotely. This means 100% of their employees are working from home.
- How much of the global workforce are remote workers?
What first started as a safety measure to slow down the spread of COVID, has become popular among both employees and employers for varying reasons. Remote workers now account for 18% of the total global workforce, according to smallbizgenius.net. This statistic has seen a rise of 159% since 2003.
- Does the workforce enjoy working remotely?
According to findstack.com, 74% of workers say that having the option to work remotely makes them less likely to leave a company. The main reason why people choose to work remotely is a better work-life balance.
The benefits of remote working
Remote working has unearthed many benefits for both employers and employees. Let’s explore some of these below:
Benefits for employees
- Less time spent commuting between home and work.
- More flexibility.
- Less money spent on lunch breaks and travelling.
- Reduced risk of getting sick.
- Lower or no office space expenditure needed.
- Saving money on electricity bills.
- Reduced equipment costs.
- Lower employee turnover.
- Increase in staff productivity.
- Fewer staff absences.
Remote working does have its challenges
With all the benefits, it can be easy to look past the fact that remote working also has some challenges. When businesses are aware of these challenges, they can find solutions faster and avoid problems in the future. Some of these challenges include:
- Communication can be tricky when businesses don’t establish one central channel for everyone to use.
- Managing how and when people work can be challenging when done remotely.
- Controlling tasks can be difficult if the right tools aren’t set in place.
- Time zones can make things challenging if employees live in different parts of the world.
Luckily, these challenges are small compared to the benefits and can easily be overcome with the right tools and resources in place.
The future of remote working
Both companies and their employees have experienced challenging times over the last two and half years. It has, however, shown how adaptable we are. And how we can find innovative ways to make things work. Remote working has proven to be a safe, effective, and highly beneficial employment arrangement. While many businesses were forced to try it during the pandemic, this approach is definitely here to stay.
In this digital day and age, many businesses are able to operate remotely, with team members completing tasks from any location. It’s all about flexibility and removing the constraints of traditional office setups! Does your business or place of work promote work-from-wherever strategies?
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