Recent studies have found that employees are split on how they’d like businesses to operate going forward. There are no hard and fast rules, of course, but if you are still undecided on what your “new normal” should look like, here’s some food for thought.
Remote working has become the norm across a wide range of industries in 2020, due to the spread of the coronavirus. Teams who would normally congregate in the office every day have had to get used to the introduction of video calling, sharing platforms and virtual communications into their usual business operations.
But now that many businesses have been forced to make remote working part of their daily routine, it seems that some employees aren’t sure they want it to end. Many organisations are asking what the best course of action will be in a post-COVID-19 world: should businesses return to their former routine, or will a new routine be more beneficial?
A recent US study shows one fifth of employees want permanent remote working after lockdown
Process pipeline management company Pipefy conducted a recent study into opinions on home working across the US, and the results showed that the workforce are currently split.
According to the study, around 41% of those newly introduced to the world of remote working would like to go back to the office after lockdown. However, almost the same number – 39% – want to work remotely part time after the coronavirus pandemic has run its course.
What’s more, a further 20% said that they would like to work remotely full time. Of the people who took part in the survey, two thirds were working remotely for the first time.
The benefits and challenges of remote working
It’s no surprise really that opinions on remote working are split, as there are both benefits and challenges associated with working from home – or at least, away from a recognised office.
Remote working can save a business significant expense on renting an office space, but at the cost of not being able to meet up as a team. However, some would argue that, by implementing video telecommunications and regular calls into their business routine during lockdown, the office is not as necessary for businesses in 2020 as we previously thought.
According to Pipefy’s study, employees enjoyed several key features of remote working, with 83% saying they were happy to be having more time with their families. 66% also said they enjoyed the flexibility of working from home.
However, the study also highlighted some issues with the practice. 60% of respondents said they found distractions in the home to be the biggest challenge of home working, while 36% said they found it difficult to maintain a work/life balance while working remotely.
Other research has also looked into the impact remote working can have. A study by Buffer found that, when asked, 99% of workers said they would like to have some level of remote working introduced into their job, and 40% said a flexible schedule is the most beneficial aspect, followed by time with family.
Is there a right answer?
There is no definitive answer as to whether businesses should or shouldn’t work from home in the long run, if they have the capacity to do so. The best course of action for one business may not be the best one for another, and so it is up to employers to listen to their teams and find out what kind of structure might work best for them, as well as for the business as a whole, once the coronavirus pandemic has had its day.