Is remote working the new norm?
Coronavirus has changed the way company leaders, employees, customers, and building owners think about whether companies should find office spaces right now. Now that we have months of experience with working from home, we are getting a sense for what works, what does not, and whether or not companies should find office spaces at any time in the near future. Many MNCs and SME’s have given the choice to work for employees to work from home, forever.
The current scenario of working from home involves:
- Employees prefer working from home due to the reduction in commute time, more flexibility, and plenty of family-time. Much of the work we do can be done just as well from the comfort of our homes. Multiple leaders have been surprised that certain work functions are better done without interruption from the home.
- We can trust our employees. Team managers we uncertain about the productivity of their teams while working from home initially, but over time they have learned that their employees can be trusted to get their work done.
- We can trust the technologies available to help. Readily available technologies like Zoom, Slack, email, and others have enabled working from home to be more hassle-free and efficient.
However, not everything is going perfectly. Companies are struggling to hire and recruit new employees, while multiple companies are reporting isolation among younger employees. All the companies are preparing for a new balance between working from home and on-premises, due to the following challenges:
- We still rely on getting mail. We had several conversations with office managers who are only going into the office to receive mail and having mail sent to the founder’s home is not working.
- Working from home with young kids is extremely hard. Studies are already showing that young moms are working much less than their male counterparts.
- Recruiting new employees is hard. Some companies who were in the remote-work cultures before the pandemic, admitted that their main reason to have an office was to recruit new employees as doing so remotely was a huge challenge.
- Younger employees like working from home the least. Many young employees join companies based on purpose, and they often do not have living situations that are compatible to work from home.
- Most of the work from home setups are not built for work which can be a hassle.
- Staff meetings in open spaces work better in the summer. During the pandemic, multiple companies have gotten together for staff meetings outdoors which gets harder during the winter.
- Complex and innovative projects are harder to execute while being fully remote. Multiple companies have mentioned that togetherness helps innovation.
So, with all this, what should companies do? There are of course benefits and costs to working from home and working from an office space. These are unique to each culture, and each business which is why coworking spaces are flexible and promote dynamic nature of work. Deciding when to act is often just as hard as deciding what to act on. Each business is different and has different calculations on what is working and what is not. We are looking forward to transformation in the work culture with co-working spaces as it will be more flexible, more responsive, and more essential to company’s needs.