What is remote work?
Remote work is where an employee carries out their role in any location that is not a traditional centralized office. It is sometimes referred to as telecommuting. It is often carried out in a home office or a dedicated coworking space.
Despite working in varying locations, remote working employees are expected to stay in touch with their team, clients, and suppliers and collaborate with other employees. Remote working employees use technology such as videoconferencing, collaboration software, and instant messaging, as well as emails and phone calls.
Why is remote work important nowadays?
Remote working has increased in importance as a result of the lockdowns enforced by governments during the Covid-19 pandemic. Until this point, many employers were reluctant to allow employees to work remotely.
Remote work has enabled many organizations to continue to operate despite lockdowns. Managed well, remote working can be more productive than traditional office-based working. The remote work trend has been growing rapidly. remote working supports remote education, remote research, and remote health care, as well as remote local government services.
Effective remote work will support a more productive workforce and enable employers to attract talent from a higher-caliber pool of candidates, strengthen the talent pipeline by employing people regardless of their location or background, while also supporting hybrid setting employees to connect and collaborate with remote global teams.
After covid 19, most workers carry out remote jobs for several reasons, including saving time and money on commuting; reducing stress levels; having the ability to work where they want; supporting green initiatives; accessing highly skilled workers (and remote specialists); improving productivity and employee engagement, and making it easier to have better work-life balance by a hybrid arrangement with their employers.
Who could remote work benefit from?
Remote opportunities benefit any employee that wants to work outside of a centralized office. It particularly appeals to full-time employees who want to be partially remote and have the freedom to spend more quality time with their family, choose where they live, and reduce costs such as commuting costs and utility bills.
More than half of employees who are working remotely report higher productivity levels. Remote work opportunities are an employment arrangement where the employee performs his or her job at a location other than the employer's place of business.
This has become very common for employees that regularly commute long distances to work each day, meaning remote working employees often work outside normal business hours.
Employees who desire in their job search work remotely can benefit from specialists that carry out complex projects and remote team members who collaborate on a project and require remote listings.
What are the challenges of remote work?
Maintaining remote work relationships can be challenging because employees in remote jobs tend to have less contact with their remote colleagues. This can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness, or exclusion. Remote workers who work remotely for an extended period can feel out of touch with the remote team. However, remote workers can combat these feelings by maintaining regular contact with remote partners and project teams.
Technology is another challenge that remote employees must overcome; they need to be self-disciplined when working remotely. Employers should provide remote employees with the remote working tools and training they need to succeed.
What are the pros and cons of remote work?
Remote working has many advantages and disadvantages. Some of these are as follows:
The pros of remote work:
- Employees can spend more time at home. This can help improve well-being and work-life balance for happier, healthier, and more productive employees.
- Employees can balance caring responsibilities such as caring for children or elderly parents. This makes remote working especially attractive to women who often have higher caring responsibilities. By offering remote work, employers can keep highly skilled women who may otherwise be unable to balance their domestic and professional lives.
- Employees with health or disability problems can work in more comfortable surroundings. Remote working gives employers the chance to attract talented candidates who might otherwise be physically unable to travel to an office location. This can also help increase an organization’s diversity of employees.
- Remote working allows a business to employ individuals from any location. This gives employers access to a broader talent pool which can, in turn, give an organization a competitive edge.
- By hiring staff who work away from the head office, organizations can cut costs on office space and utilities.
The cons of remote work:
- Managing remote employees can be difficult, especially if the manager is new to their role or unsure of how to cope with remote work.
- Remote working means extra investment in employee communication and technology. Your IT infrastructure must be failsafe and you need to have a proven system for communicating updates to employees.
- Remote work can result in poor employee cohesion. This can affect company culture and reduce productivity over the long term.
- Some employees do not have a suitable domestic set-up to allow for remote working. Employees who live in small flats, who have house shares, or who live with young children will struggle to concentrate if asked to work from home. This can result in a poor work-life balance and feelings of isolation.
- Remote employees may miss out on opportunities for promotion or extra projects because they are less visible than office-based employees.
Tips for remote work success
- Ensure remote workers have the remote working technologies they need to do their jobs, such as a laptop computer, remote working HR software, and a backup system.
- Provide remote workers with remote working training to help them improve productivity. Liaise with remote workers when organizing remote working training to ensure they are available when remote working training is held.
- Remote workers should keep remote work relationships alive by actively engaging in remote team meetings and remote project work. They can combat feelings of isolation or exclusion by sharing their remote working experiences.
How to manage remote employees?
The key to successfully managing remote employees is good communication. As part of this managers must:
Set clear expectations and provide clear policies
Make sure everyone knows what needs to be delivered and by when. This is also important to prevent employees from working for longer than they need to which can damage productivity.
Provide regular employee updates
It’s easy for remote working employees to feel isolated. By creating regular updates such as bulletins or webinars, everyone will get the same information and feel more connected.
Hold regular employee 121s
Regular employee 121s are even more important for keeping remote employees engaged. Use them to check in on how your employees are doing as well as assessing their project progress.
Reward and recognize remote employees
Remote working employees can often get forgotten when it comes to recognition and rewards. Make sure your remote workers get their chance to shine by including them in the employee of the week awards and with surprise “thank you” deliveries if they’ve done an especially good job.
What are some tools to make remote work successful?
To make remote work successful there are several tools employers could consider. Developing teams is super important when working remotely. Remote employees need to be self-sufficient when remote working, at least one person should know how to work remotely effectively, communicate with remote teams, and manage remote deadlines.
Employers could provide remote employees with tools that can help them to work effectively in remote locations. For example, they could give remote employees access to the software they need for their job, such as an online project management tool, virtual meetings platform, remote screen-sharing software, remote project management tools.
This can enable remote employees to work in different locations when remote working. Employers that want to encourage remote working could also consider providing remote workers with home office equipment that enables them to work remotely effectively, such as remote computers, mobile broadband access for remote working, and building a remote team.
What does the future of remote work look like?
As remote working continues to evolve, remote workers are likely to work in more remote-friendly locations. They will need to stay connected in order to contribute to remote working teams and projects promptly. Communication systems will need to be ever more effective and remote workers will need to invest in the appropriate technology.
Employers should also expect remote working staff to work remotely for longer periods. The flexibility remote working offers means employees can fit work around their schedules, even when they take on caring responsibilities or want to retrain later in life.