With the pandemic came a lot of change, with one of the biggest shifts being millions of people swapping their suits and commutes for pyjamas and a laptop in the spare bedroom. But as we see the end of the worldwide Covid crisis, many people are left wondering if remote work is here to stay, or if it was a temporary fix that will be reversed slowly over the coming years.
Today, we’re going to take a look at if remote work is going to end up being the norm, as well as the pros and cons of hybrid working, as opposed to full-time working from home. Finally, we’ll also tell you how to manage your team effectively, whether it be on a temporary basis, or as a long-term solution.
Is Remote Work Here To Stay?
The subject of remote working is certainly a hot topic. While most of us were initially delighted by the thought of getting up an hour later and not having to sit on the Tube or bus, as time has gone on the simple joys of working out of our houses and flats have been replaced with an altogether different set of problems.
Differentiating between work and home life, not getting enough exercise and employees feeling isolated are all issues that have arisen since so many of us turned our backs on office life. In fact, a recent study by Chargifi found that an astonishing 81% of younger workers, aged 18 – 34, feel more isolated without time spent in the office around their colleagues. The same study found that almost two thirds of the same age group had a harder time making new friends and maintaining relationships while working from home.
On the flip side, there are also statistics that suggest people working from home get the same amount of work done as they would in their usual office environment, with some claiming to be even more productive than ever before. And of course, we all know that both companies and workers are saving money by not commuting, buying expensive lunches and/or paying for huge office spaces and equipment for every employee.
So where does that leave us? To work from home, or not work from home. That is the question! But the answer may not be as clear-cut as the choice between just these two options. It seems that, with all the pros and cons of work-from-home being argued back and forth, the solution is actually something in the middle: hybrid working.
Remote Vs Hybrid Working: Which Is Better?
An article published by The Home Office Life states that 59% of UK workers prefer to work with a hybrid model; meaning splitting their time between the home and the office. Obviously, how many days a team member spends in the office, as well as the hours they’re asked to complete, remain at the discretion of the company. But what we can gather from this is that there is indeed a happy medium when it comes to the future of remote working.
Hybrid models mean more social interaction and a welcome break from the mundanity of working full-time at home. Plus, an overwhelming majority of workers claim that business meetings are more effective when held in-person.
Could the hybrid model of working be the answer we’ve been looking for? Only time will tell, but it certainly seems that a lot of UK businesses are leaning towards this way of thinking.
So, regardless of whether your team continues to work at home every day, or they come into the office a couple of times a week, one thing is clear: the 9 to 5 as we know it is gone.
How To Manage Your Remote Team Effectively
Remote working, part-time, full-time or otherwise, looks to be sticking around. Therefore, if you haven’t already, it’s time to pool your resources and start utilising the correct tools to keep your employees happy and productive, as well as your business running smoothly.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to manage your remote team successfully.
Utilise Communication And Organisational Platforms
Nowadays, there are countless platforms that offer businesses the chance to coordinate their staff, keep lines of communication open and allocate tasks; all in one place. Some of the most popular names to emerge in the past few years include Slack, Trello and Monday.com.
Regardless of which option to choose, all of these platforms let you manage your staff from anywhere, making organising a remote team far easier, and without needing to install and train your people on multiple platforms.
Make Yourself Available To Your Staff
One of the biggest issues with remote work is that staff can feel isolated working outside of the office for long periods of time. This can also occur with hybrid models, too, with employees feeling left in the dark about decisions and/or tasks they’ve been asked to complete.
Therefore, as a manager, making yourself readily available to employees can not only ease your staff’s minds, but it will also lead to better productivity and gelling of teams. Be it a weekly catch up, or perhaps a window of time where employees know you’re always available, keeping the lines of communication open is an important step to managing your remote team effectively.
Ensure Staff Socialise And Maintain Relationships
As any good manager knows, it’s not all about work! One of the best things you can do as a leader is to encourage your remote team to socialise in order to maintain their working relationships. This is especially true if you have recently employed a new member of staff, who may not have met their colleagues face-to-face.
Platforms like Slack let you chat through various channels, but why not take things a step further by suggesting some fun activities for your team to do together online? Pub quizzes are a great example of a social activity that needs no major preparation. Or, if you want to make things extra fun and immersive, you can send out some casino chips and get your team to have a go at some classic casino games online. Furthermore, things like no wagering slots can offer an evening’s entertainment at very little cost.
Ensuring that your team has fun together is the key to maintaining great working relationships and productivity. And if remote working is here to stay, then a team that enjoys each other’s company can only have a positive impact on your company.