Impact of communication technology on the future of remote work

May 13, 2021

Remote working isn’t a novel concept. Instead, it’s been around since people began traveling for work. Moreover, technology has also made it more convenient than ever.

Many organizations now have to integrate remote working in their routine owing to the pandemic. What comes as a blessing in disguise, the companies are now able to reap the benefits like low rent, maintenance cost, travel cost, etc., in addition to staying safe from the deadly virus.


Remote working - where is it taking us?

Starting as an option and sometimes necessity, remote working is not a novelty. Some companies started offering an option to work from home to their employees. Also, the need to work on the go while traveling for work or otherwise was another reason businesses had to make room for it.

But, the offset of this pandemic pushed new businesses and organizations to innovate remote working. Moreover, when your competitors switch to the WFH module, they start reaping some of the benefits mentioned earlier, allowing them to gain an edge over you. This means you have to integrate those modules as well if you want to survive.

Talking about the pandemic, now that it’s vaccines are rapidly getting distributed, we’ll have to see what working trends it brings along. According to a report by Mckinsey, about 20 percent of the total workforce can effectively work remotely for upto five days.

How can businesses survive this wave of this pandemic induced WFH wave?

The businesses are getting pulled into the WFH culture. But, the question about their readiness to accept this rapid shift remains. A Doodle survey including 300 HR executives showed that most of them are not ready for this new regime. They might be getting mentally ready, but they still lack the infrastructure and systems to go completely virtual and conduct all their processes, including recruitment, training, etc.

Many organizations might be looking into hiring shared working spaces in different cities; many are struggling to onboard and train new employees. But, more and more companies are adapting to this new culture. They are investing in virtual meeting portals and other management tools that are helping them to smoothly conduct their business in these difficult times.

To begin with this journey, the organizations need to understand the employee’s requirements. Many companies are giving systems to work on and paying for the internet connectivity diverting resources where they need to be.
The team managers and operations head also need to empathize with their employees and allow them sufficient time to adjust to this new lifestyle.

The solution to this new challenge might lie in working out a harmony between physical presence and WFH. Organizations are trying to find a mid-way where the employees are physically present for some days in a month to carry out the tasks that require physical presence. This demands a compromise from both parties on their expectations and a mutual understanding if this task needs to be accomplished without a hiccup.

Work From Home culture - who is it for?

The possibility of going completely virtual doesn’t include every industry. Industries, where most of the work needs a computer and an internet connection, have easily adjusted to this new structure. The technology is rapidly evolving, and internet connectivity is spreading to the remotest of corners of the world, enabling most of the workforce associated with this industry to carry out their functions from home.

Also, a survey conducted amongst 1004 full-time employees had 505 employees working remotely, and the remaining went to the office. The employees working from home have shown significantly higher productivity when compared to their counterparts. This is no surprise that all the businesses that can operate remotely are taking this opportunity and remodeling themselves.

Finance, Education, and IT are a few of the key takers in this new world order. Many of the top players have already committed to this WFH culture. They have got rid of their physical offices to the maximum extent possible and are rather investing in building on this present need of allowing their employees to work from home.

But, some industries find themselves alien to this entire trend. These domains that need to use specialized equipment, delivery and supply domain, transportation, travel, and tourism cannot possibly divulge in a remote culture.

Even within industries, different segments have emerged. For example, one might consult a doctor remotely, but activities like conducting a CT scan or blood tests will still physically present. So, it lies on the industry gurus and innovators to challenge and figure out a solution.

What are employees expecting?

Even before the industries move towards implementing a paradigm shift in their work modules and structures, it is important to understand employee expectations.

Most of the employees are liking this new work culture and have already established a comfortable work-life balance.

Another survey by Global Workplace Analytics states that 37% of the total workforce working home is ready to take a ten percent salary cut to continue their WFH arrangement. This survey strengthens the belief that more and more working population prefers jobs that will allow them to continue this trend that pandemic has pushed the world to.

Also, many employees are rejecting the positions that need them to be physically present. They know that they can get an opportunity to work from home easily, understanding that they can easily accomplish their tasks from anywhere across the globe.

Most of the workforce that’ll enjoy the perks of this new work culture belongs to is educated and highly skilled. This has made it important for the businesses to work out an arrangement to tap this trained pool of resources.

Moreover, if we believe the experts and top brains around, there is no going back to normal as we used to know. We need to adjust and adapt to these new circumstances and accept them as the new normal. The sooner the businesses realize this, and they can get on the same page as the rest of us who have already established home offices and workspaces.


Conclusion - where does the future lie?

We all have understood the expectations and reality that this new normal brings for us. Undoubtedly, many perks come with this WFH culture. But, this also calls for new infrastructure and work systems that might need a lot of resources and funds to accomplish.

There is a silver lining to this. Some agencies and businesses have dedicated themselves solely to taking care of this technological infrastructure for everyone. To aid businesses and SMEs alike, names like Optimar have come up with remote working solutions taking care of all your needs in a single place.

From establishing virtual offices, video conference rooms, and everything else that your business needs, these companies promise to be a one-stop solution helping you steer through these tough times of pandemic.

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