Remote Management

Remote Work Is Here To Stay

Written by

CJ Cowan

The pandemic forced the widespread adoption of remote work. Working remotely was definitely a thing before COVID hit, but it was an exception to the rule. 

Trading cubicles for zoom calls was disruptive at first, but millions have started to prefer remote work over office work. 

With the pandemic seemingly coming to a close (knock on wood), employers are beckoning their teams to squeeze back into their dress pants and fill cubicles. 

The future of remote work is in flux. 

For most of us, this is old news. You really want to know what comes next and the answer to the billion-dollar question. 

Is Remote Work Here To Stay? 

Yes, but not in the way its biggest champions would hope. Let me explain why. 

The sequel to this movie is “ The Office Strikes Back” because we all knew that was going to happen. For some companies, it only makes sense to return to the office, and for others, the work model will suit what management wants regardless. 

Old habits die hard. The office culture is sticky, so it's going to stick around. 

But, there is no putting the cat back in the bag. A lot of companies will stay remote. Many companies' internal calculus shows that the benefits of remote work smooth its rougher edges. 

Let’s break down the logic that keeps some companies remote even when it’s unnecessary. 

Benefits And Challenges Of Remote Working

Remote work is not sunshine and rainbows, but many companies see more blue skies than dark clouds. Here are some common reasons for championing remote work and beatable obstacles to remote success. 

Benefits of Remote Work 

Cost Reduction 

Remote work is a huge money saver. Companies save money on leasing and overhead and pass those costs on to their employees. Employees don’t drop their paycheques into their gas tanks because they don’t have to commute. 

Productivity Boosts

The numbers are in, and employees are more productive working from home. They work more hours and get more done. Workers aren’t watching the clock, and there’s no clacking keyboards or cross-talk as distractions. People still wringing their hands over workflows are delusional.  

Broader Talent Pool

Companies aren’t limited to the talent within driving distance. Instead, their applicant pool is bottomless. Hiring managers can choose from the best of the best. You can build international, multicultural teams with diverse perspectives, which is a competitive edge.  

Challenges 

Communication 

Communication can be an issue in remote spaces. There is no reason that communication hurdes can’t be overcome with the right policies. GitLab is a big proponent of documentation and handbooks, so asynchronously teams can stay on the same page no matter how many timezones are in place. 

Banishing Burnout

Contrary to the paranoia of some managers, overwork is a bigger problem than underwork when working remotely. Employees feel pressure to produce to overcome WFH Guilt. Too many workers confuse their increased productivity with less effort because it’s simply easier to get a lot more work done out of the office. 

Engaging Employees 

Remote work can indeed contribute to lacklustre employee engagement. Remote teams can feel disconnected and alien to one another. Teams that are feeling the pinch need to invest in their own culture and deliberately create opportunities for connection. 

These challenges can be nullified and these benefits amplified with a custom, dynamic remote readiness plan. WFHomie offers an end-to-end employee experience and people analytics platform designed to put your entire HR Tech needs under one dashboard, for one price. 

Remote Work Statistics 

The numbers are in, and they’re well in the black. Remote workers are making their companies more money in less time. 

Productivity  

Interested in Producitivity and Remote Work? Check out our comphrensive list of science-backed productivity tips. 

Remote Work Forecast

  • 40% of Americans prefer full-time remote work. Employers could lose up to 39% of their workforce, forcing a return to the office
  • Kona’s survey of 200 managers across 150+ organizations shows remote work is here to stay. Over 30% of organizations plan to remain remote,  while half are planning to retain a hybrid model even when once the office is safe to work in.
  • According to Yerbo's State of Burnout in Tech 2022,  56% of IT professionals can't relax once their workday is over and 62% feel physically and emotionally drained. 

Want more remote work statistics? Check our list of 21 key statistics for remote work

Why Managers Fear A Remote Work Future

The lion’s share of managers who fear a remote work future worry that it’ll decrease productivity, increase turnover and cut into revenue in the long term. There is loads of evidence that points in the exact opposite direction. The proof of their own experiences will convince these holdouts in time. 

A minority of these managers fear remote work for self-serving reasons. Remote work has flattened organizational structures, and middle managers fear that their skills won’t be in demand outside of the office environment and they’ll be shown the door. 

In all honesty, some managers love the power trip and want to hold on to the office so they can continue to play lord/lady of the manor. We’ve all had terrible and incompetent bosses, and their toxic ‘skill set’ won’t translate into a remote environment. 

It’s much more dangerous to be a jerk if there is a digital record of your misbehaviour. Remote work reflects poorly on leaders who don’t actually lead anything. The world of work might be a better place without a “managerial mindset.” 

List Of Remote-Friendly And Fully Remote Companies 

Forbes has compiled a  list of companies and brands that have embraced remote work. Below is a selection of those companies and other logos that continue to embrace remote work. 

  1. GitLab 
  2. Buffer
  3. InVision
  4. Twitter 
  5. Screenly
  6. Cactus Communication 
  7. Almanac
  8. Knack 
  9. Sourcegraph                                                  
  10. Duck Duck Go 
  11. Quora
  12. Blockthrough
  13. Kraken
  14. Softwaremill
  15. Microsoft
  16. Wealthsimple

In the following months and years, these trailblazers will be joined by more notable logos and brands. There will be a retraction in the number of these companies early on in the post-pandemic world. People will want to reclaim what’s normal, but remote work empowers too much ingenuity and opens up too many avenues of success to be kept down long.

Why Are Companies Staying Remote? 

Remote work lays bare the brutal inefficiencies and problems of commuting, office space, and the strictly scheduled work day. It is cheaper to have employees work from anywhere at anytime than have them work in one place at one time. Remote work makes companies agile and dynamic. 

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