As an Employer, did you see other employers scramble to roll out remote working when the pandemic hit?
Do you play a part in your organisation’s remote working strategies? If so, the following should be of interest to you.
Many organisations did not have proper remote working processes in place when the pandemic hit. When governments suddenly mandated stay-at-home directives, many organisations were caught ill-prepared. Is this you, even now?
It’s probably fair to say that some organisations are still struggling to implement effective remote working processes. Many, under very trying circumstances, heroically scrambled as best they could. They were aided in no small measure by new digital tools that fortunately require minimal change to existing IT (Information Technology) systems.
Technology is an essential part of an organisation’s remote working toolkit (some examples are Zoom, Teams and Slack). But IT alone cannot solve every remote working challenge. Many remote working challenges are not fixed by implementing IT changes.
The future of remote working
While the pandemic lingers on, some organisations continue to hesitate to invest in urgently needed changes, hoping governments will lift stay-at-home mandates once and for all. Again and again, these same organisations have had their hopes dashed. Many are finding themselves still scrambling, learning and wanting. Truth be told, remote working and working from home are here to stay – regardless.
The following is a global view: An employers’ guide on working from home in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 Geneva: International Labour Office, 2020
The following simple graphic shows our predictions on the future of remote work:
(* A Wofomer is a work-from-home-er)
Remote working has created a new set of worker-needs
As of the writing of this post (April 2021), many things are apparent, namely:
- It could take much longer than anticipated to return to a world where remote working is for a select few. More likely, that will never happen.
- The new-normal will need to include a remote working option.
- Many workers have bitten the forbidden fruit of remote working, and they like it.
- Many workers will be wanting a hybrid situation, where they get to work remote some days in the week.
- As an employer, you may need some of your workers back in their traditional workplace, at least a few days a week. What if they don’t want to return?
- Many organisations have downsized their real estate footprint and no longer have sufficient office space for their entire workforce. Could this upset your workers who do want to return to their traditional workplace?
What cost savings can remote working create?
Have you looked into…
Shared workspace options to reduce your overall real-estate-rental costs?
Utilising 3rd party workspace providers (Example: WeWork) could be a cheaper option if you have a transient workforce?
Reducing commuting costs such as public transport, fuel, parking – to find further savings?
Revising any carbon footprint obligations to your advantage?
Removing some worker benefits. Are things like food, childcare and fitness still required?
This list is not exhaustive. We will update this list in future posts. Can you add to this list? If you wish to make suggestions, please reach out to us via whichever channel you prefer (comments section below, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Guest Post)
‘Lucky’ organisations have always offered remote working
Organisations with long-established remote working practices are better equipped for today’s challenges. Many barely noticed a blip on their remote working radars when the pandemic struck. They just extended their existing processes to more of their workers.
Organisations scrambling to implement a sustainable work-from-home practice should study what these luckier organisations already do. One leader in this space is GitLab.
If you uncover any good material yourself, be sure to share it with the wofome community.
Take an organisation-wide view of remote working
Organisations recognise IT (Information Technology) is key to sustaining a remote workforce into the future. But what about organisational culture, for example? Many organisations already claim a vibrant corporate culture, but overlaying a remote work culture on top of that – requires added effort.
Here are some key areas your organisations should focus on:
A complete view is certainly broader. Can you add anything?
The hybrid worker
Many Wofomers* work both remote and from their place of employment, alternating between the two throughout the week. It’s either ad-hoc or based on a fixed schedule. (Example: Mondays and Tuesdays from home and the rest of the week at their employer-provided workplace). This kind of work is called Hybrid.
Do you already offer this option? A hybrid model requires you to double the oversight of your workers – both when they work from home and when they work from their traditional workplace. While this may seem challenging, it can have benefits. It needs good exploration, planning and strategy.
(*Wofomer = work-from-home-er)
wofome – your looking glass
wofome can be an excellent resource for your organisation.
Firstly, we tap into the sentiments of individual workers. We research the views of Wofomers beyond your own organisation. It is harder to obtain warts-and-all insights directly from your own workers.
Secondly, you can study what other organisations are doing (or not doing) well with their own remote working processes. We accept Guest Posts from Employers.
Thirdly, we reach out to third-party remote working specialists and service providers. They too can be a valuable resource for your own organisation.
Lastly, we have created a blog topic particularly for Employers. Make sure to check this topic regularly.
In conclusion, wofome is closely monitoring the Employer Remote Working landscape. We are expanding our focus in this area. Maybe you can help us with this initiative? Feel free to drop us a private email if you would like to help.