Are you curious about the future of remote work in 2021 and beyond? Keep reading to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of remote work, as well as whether or not experts think remote work is here to stay.
Now that it's been a year since COVID-19 forced millions of nonessential employees to begin working remotely, it's hard to believe how much has changed — and even harder to predict what the future of remote work looks like. Although remote work has its share of advantages (who really misses their commute?), it's far from a perfect system (as anyone who's taken a nap in the middle of a workday will tell you).
Although it feels like remote work has become a global phenomenon over the past twelve months, in fact, working from home was on the rise well before COVID-19 was first detected. In 2019, a study first suggested that 70% of the U.S. workforce would spend at least five days a month working from home by 2025. As companies become more aware of the advantages of remote work and are able to counter its disadvantages, the more it remains likely that nonessential employees will continue to work from home. Companies have even begun to evolve toward offering virtual meetings, conferences, trainings, and more, which have set the stage to continue productively working from home in the future.
Remote work is associated with a wide variety of advantages and disadvantages, which include:
Although working from home can have its disadvantages, one way in which it is beneficial is that it offers employees a more balanced work-life experience. That's more important than it sounds: providing employees with a great work-life balance is a good way to boost morale and improve retention. Because employees are able to spend more time with their family and even take breaks to enjoy meals or walks with loved ones — as well as being able to spend less time commuting and more time relaxing before and after work — a better work-life balance is one of the main advantages of many employees' remote work experiences.
Working from home has its advantages, but it can also provide countless distractions that make it difficult for employees to get their work done. Whether a remote worker is distracted by a needy child or pet, or they simply don't have the motivation or discipline to stay on task without being present in an office setting, working in an environment that was designed more for relaxation than for concentration can lead to distraction and a lack of productivity. Providing employees with the resources they need to carve out a distraction-free place to work from home may be one way to help remote workers avoid distractions and remain happy and productive.
Remote work provides employees with a major plus: they can work whenever and wherever they want. Instead of feeling like they need to make a long commute only to work from 9-5, Monday through Friday, remote workers can embrace their inner morning bird or night owl (schedules permitting) and get their work done on their own time. This increased flexibility is probably why remote workers have been shown to be just as productive as employees who worked in an office — despite the potential distractions that come with remote work, its freedom and flexibility allow employees to work whenever and wherever they feel most inspired and energetic. Letting employees work whenever and wherever they want is the kind of increased flexibility that many remote workers crave.
Because you can't exactly swing down the hall to check in with a colleague or have a casual chat with the boss when you're working from home, intentional communication becomes vastly more important at a distance. Checking in with remote workers and ensuring that they have everything they need to succeed is likely to become a major focus in the future, as will putting extra effort into publicly praising and motivating employees. Finally, finding new and creative ways to connect with employees through virtual meetings, events, and conferences will only become more important as remote work continues to become the new normal.
As remote work becomes more prevalent, companies are increasingly realizing that they don't need sprawling headquarters anymore: instead, they're able to meet their goals just as easily without an HQ when they have a predominantly remote workforce. This means that companies can save money on expensive buildings and use their new savings to boost business or improve their employees' lives. Don't forget that remote work means that far more than just buildings will be unnecessary in the near future. All the associated costs of office space — from office supplies to utilities to office cleaning costs — can be removed from companies' budgets to keep them lean and effective.
Whether a given company has dozens or thousands of remote workers, each individual represents a potential weak link in that company's cybersecurity strategy. The rise in remote work is going to require employers to not only provide cybersecurity training and equipment to their remote employees but also to devise a plan to protect their data and digital assets. With data breaches and cyber-attacks becoming increasingly common, it's more important than ever for remote workers to know how to identify and avoid cyber-attacks to keep their company's entire cybersecurity system strong — no matter how far-flung their company's remote workers are spread out.
At Orbis Solutions, a top-rated Las Vegas IT company, we provide IT solutions for whatever problems you're facing. Whether you're wondering how to boost your company's cybersecurity when your workforce is largely remote or you're trying to preserve the integrity of your digital assets while phasing out your company's headquarters, we have the skills and dedication to help.
Interested in learning more about how Orbis can help provide your business with high-tech solutions and above-and-beyond customer service? Don't hesitate to contact us today to get started.
Orbis Solutions, Inc., in Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin and throughout Nevada, has developed creative, strategic and cost-effective technical solutions for a wide variety of clients. Offering a diverse range of products and services, Orbis provides IT solutions to promote your company’s productivity and profitability, and help you sort through the latest-hyped technology, so you can select the best hardware, software or service for your business needs.