The COVID-19 crisis has led to renewed interest in remote work. We are here to touch the most sensitive issues of the topic as businesses face a bleak set of options: continue business as usual but with the risk of grave illness, shut down the business, or transition to working from home.
How to manage your work during COVID-19 WFH
The future looks uncertain and we don’t know when, or if, our societies might return to normal — or what kind of scars the pandemic will leave. The situation looks even more uncertain when a question arises about how to manage your work from home. Will we go to the office again — and, if so, how often? And what will work mean if you can create offices anywhere and we lose those day-to-day social interactions? Who will be able to continue working from home and who definitely should go out there on the hub spot?
McKinsey&Company analyzed 2000 tasks, 8 000 jobs, and 9 countries to come to the conclusion that hybrid models of remote work are likely to persist in the wake of the pandemic, mostly for a highly educated, well-paid minority of the workforce. More than 20% of the workforce could work remotely three to five days a week as effectively as they could if working from an office. If remote work took hold at that level, that would mean three to four times as many people working from home than before the pandemic and would have a profound impact on urban economies, transportation, and consumer spending, among other things.
Remotely anything – pros and cons
Work from home opens up a new range of possibilities for the way businesses can work remotely anything.
With increasing numbers of employees working at home — or using a home as a working base for at least part of the week — it’s clear there are a number of advantages such as:
- Flexibility — is one of the main reasons for work from home arrangements. With employees no longer stuck in the office, they might be more willing to work flexible hours. This may help employers to meet important business objectives.
- Financial benefits — savings on office rent, office supplies, and other fixed costs.
- Increased productivity — due to fewer interruptions, which is a normal situation in an office environment. It allows for a more quiet environment that can facilitate more focused work. You may also find that employees will work longer hours as they can also use their time saved from commuting to start work earlier, later, or both.
- Better work and life balance — remote work can help employees improve their work-life balance. Staff is able to fit in a household routine around their working day giving them more free time in the evenings or even during the day.
For sure we can’t skip the topic of disadvantages when touching the base of how to manage work from home concept. Remote work makes communication and collaboration more challenging. Employees also feel that they must be available round the clock or work extra hours. And they also don’t get the know-how of what’s happening in your team. In this case, an AI-driven digital distributed collaboration can help. Like Think Owl application that helps to improve the service flow, save time, increase team productivity — and reduce digital impatience. So, you become more inclusive, less intrusive.
Michael Wilmot, a new assistant professor in the Sam M. Walton College of Business, who studies the role of personality at work, was one of several researchers who contributed to «COVID-19 and the Workplace: Implications, Issues, and Insights for Future Research and Action» published in the August issue of American Psychologist. Wilmot says: «This pandemic is no different. It will change work in fundamental ways, and this will challenge people to learn to work in ways dramatically different than previous generations.»
Create your own schedule when working from home
Your own schedule — the best thing you can create for a more productive working from home environment. At a time when so many people are experiencing it the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic, you might be finding yourself in need of a productivity plan.
You are free to improvise when it comes to developing your own daily routine. Having even a rough outline will definitely help you enjoy working from home and get more done. Even though there is various work from home reasons, the top priority right now remains the same — health and safety of employees irrelevant to country or industry. All employers have a responsibility to support the communities, those who are vulnerable, and the healthcare providers who are on the front lines of this pandemic.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that social distancing won’t last forever. And even amid the chaos of our current crisis, you can’t create an order of your own.
Work from home - office of dream or nightmare?
More employers are considering extending work-from-home (WFH) options for employees through the fall, the end of the year, or longer as coronavirus cases continue to surge in parts of the country. The good news is COVID-19 created the office of dreams for many of us! There are already hundreds of AI solutions in our workforce, despite the fear of a reduction in available jobs, machines open the door to new opportunities for workers. More positions will open up that require training, experience, and the willingness to work with machines, not against them. If we have a look at the recruiting industry HR can easily fill in positions successful working from home as there are so many AI tools to help HR specialists to find that perfect match and be effective in hiring during the Pandemic. E.g. Sniper AI integrates with most applicant tracking systems and is perfect for corporate HR departments and recruitment companies. No more endless searching and scanning to assess the ideal candidate.
According to The World Economic Forum’s Jobs Reset Summit, the number of employees permanently working remotely globally is set to double in 2021, according to a new survey by a U.S. technology research firm. And the percentage of permanent successful working from home workers will rise from 16.4% to 34.4%.
Some tips to work from home productively
With the recent statistics only 5% of those surveyed worked from home most of the time before the lockdown, now 87% of workers wanted the ability to choose where, how and when they worked — blending between being office-based and working remotely. So, how should companies be managing remote employees? Here is the list with the major points:
- Treat employees as individuals.
Successful managers can identify the strengths and weaknesses of their employees. They can leverage that information to motivate and inspire them. That same insight and management style must be applied to how they work remotely.
- Extensive communication.
Flawless communication is very important when employees work remotely. Employees have to be aware of what is expected of him/her — the scope of the work, the deliverables, and the deadlines.
- Trust that your staff is up to the task.
If you can’t trust that your employee can have their job done, ask yourself why you hired them in the first place or what happened that caused you to lose trust in them.
Are there any tips to work from home productively? There is no one-size-fits-all plan for managing remote workers, but there are some standard guidelines businesses should definitely consider. But what is important is to use all possible measurement tools to be able to reach your KPI’s even during COVID-19.
Cisco Vice President Gordon Thomson said companies would have to reconfigure how they operate to help meet the new objectives and demands of workers, who prioritized effective communication and collaboration above everything else.
Remote work is indeed here to stay for quite a while, and managers who want to stay relevant will adapt to this change in the workforce.
We just have to understand that remote work is not and will not be for everyone, or for 100% of industries. But there are, for sure, some significant benefits for both employees and employers and it is up to you to take advantage of these benefits!