In the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of businesses were shut down, and severe financial consequences were felt on the global economic landscape.
Remote working was fairly popular even before, and nowadays, it’s practically saved a plethora of jobs. Some have fully embraced working from home while others are still learning how to adapt. Today, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of transitioning towards remote work due to the pandemic, so let’s start with some positives:
1. Minimized Business Costs
Business owners no longer need to pay rent for the entire flat of their offices; instead, a couple of rooms could keep the small team of workers that need to be present comfortable.
On the other side, employees that work from home are saving up on gas money that would be spent on driving to the workplace.
Consequentially, employers have an opportunity to use the money they’ve saved to onboard additional remote workers, improve available technologies, and take up additional projects. Mobile workers benefit from increased spending power, but they can also use the boost to take up online classes and courses or buy better work-related software.
2. Digital Transformation
Digital transformation trends came and went over the past years, but it was during the pandemic that some of the most prominent ones established a firm foothold.
The urgency of remote work propelled the need to adapt to digital transformation, which is in many ways beneficial to both the company and the worker.
Companies, regardless of size, saw a need to utilize digital technologies for nearly all tasks that were performed manually. From keeping tabs on present employees, documentation, communication, over-optimizing websites, or engaging in social media, to utilizing advanced software for a streamlined workflow.
Mobile workers, on another hand, now have an opportunity to use digital technologies to more efficiently communicate in teams, their personal PCs or laptops that are arguably faster and stronger than company-issued ones, and ‘comfort’ programs they may be more proficient with.
The main advantage of the hastened digital transformation is the openness towards the endless digital opportunities, and a willingness to overcome traditional business practices.
3. Increased Productivity
Productive workers form the backbone of a stable, strong company. At-home productivity is considerably different from remote working productivity in virtually all aspects.
First of all, most 9-5 jobs were replaced with 8 business hours scattered across the available 24. This means that remote workers can relax when stressed or agitated and to work when they feel inspired.
Secondly, with proper time management, remote workers are now capable of multi-tasking between projects, fragmenting their workload, and addressing pressing issues with more leeway.
Employers, on another hand, have more flexibility in terms of organizing their workers, as the majority of such tasks are typically delegated to team leaders.
4. Global-wide Recruitment
The Covid-19 pandemic has popularized remote working to the extent that it breached all borders and became appropriated by businesses on a worldwide scale.
A couple of years ago, a firm would target local talents and would occasionally search for a professional within driving distance. Relocating to the town where the company’s HQ is was also an option, but many wouldn’t even consider it.
Nowadays, businesses can cherry-pick their candidates from a global pool of talents. This means that the recruiting prices are practically non-existent and that a much wider array of talented individuals may be open up for the job.
Staff augmentation enables businesses to mix and match employees with the right skills and experience, creating a balanced team that can be assigned to any project within minutes.
1. Challenges in Communication
One of the first obstacles remote workers and their employers encounter is a new mode of communication. Skype and Zoom calls have replaced face-to-face communication before UCaaS companies became popular in the remote work culture.
In an ideal scenario, all employees are readily available whenever their employer calls, but even so, reporting issues and completing tasks takes much longer.
Furthermore, not all people have high-quality cameras and microphones, or a stable internet connection. Stuttering and hissing noises prolong video calls, taking up the time that could be allocated to making a progress on any particular project.
2. Lack of Equipment
It would be wrong to assume that all a person needs to work from home is a laptop, a desk, and a chair. However, that’s precisely what many people are equipped with. Many never had the need to upgrade their home rigs, as they are already spending eight hours in front of a blue screen while working.
Whether it’s a slow internet connection, a slow PC without the necessary software or plugins, or special programs that the company is paying thousands of dollars annually, getting the right equipment is a massive challenge for many employees.
The process of upgrading internet speed could take days, just like the process to obtain said specialized software may not be completed instantly. At the very least, many employees who are now working from home have faced significant expenses in terms of new business-related equipment.
3. Organizational Issues
Since many companies are now onboarding workers from all around the world, a host of potential issues may potentially occur.
Remote workers living in different time zones can’t answer every call; people who are not too fluent in English may not be as warmly received by their English-speaking colleagues, and circling back to communication problems, finding a responsible team leader that can handle all of these issues is certainly a big challenge for many companies.
Even though IT remote working trends still have a long way to go, we can safely conclude that the landscape of the post-Covid business world will continue along its current trajectory.
The benefits of remote working outweigh the drawbacks; companies embracing digital technologies are actively working on adapting to the new way of recruiting and business practices, and it is only a matter of time before these drawbacks are nullified.
We hope that this guide was helpful to you and that you have learned something new today on transitioning towards remote work in the wake of the pandemic. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!