The long-term impact of remote working on workers will continue to emerge throughout 2022 as employers ramp up their return to the office plans.
This trend will continue to grow as remote work’s impact on everything – from hiring, retention, perks, collaboration, and culture – continues to grow. It will certainly be beneficial for businesses if employees can take a more active role in scheduling their own work schedules, but employees will also be able to reach out globally for talent.
Organization and scheduling
The meetings for remote workers take place over video calls or online tools that can be accessed from anywhere because there is no set location. The process of scheduling and planning meetings is more complicated in a hybrid workplace. It’s more difficult to get a group of people together without having to coordinate schedules and in-person plans.
When planning out their office-based workdays, employees might need to answer questions such as:
- Which desks are open next Monday?
- Are any large conference rooms available for our team meeting next month?
- Is there a phone booth near my final meeting on Friday?
- Where are my team members sitting on Wednesday?
Make sure your workplace experience solution integrates with your employees’ work calendar, so they can book meeting rooms and desks as events are added to their calendars. Technology tools, such as room scheduling software, can integrate with your existing system to make planning easier for employees. Also, it helps them visualize where the room is located in the office, so they know where their meetings and reserved spaces are.
More flexible workplace policies
We mentioned earlier that many companies plan to split employees’ time between remote and on-site workdays, depending on the specific requirements of their roles and how they choose to approach their real estate strategy in the wake of the pandemic.
- In LinkedIn’s recent Global Talent Trends 2022 report surveyed more than 500 C-level executives and found that 81% are changing their workplace policies to offer greater flexibility.
- In a survey from across geographies and industries, McKinsey found 90% of executives would go hybrid — redefining the workplace to accommodate some combination of in-person and remote working.
Over time, the number of companies offering remote working as an option for their employees is only expected to grow.
That’s good news for employees, considering:
- 72% of workers prefer a flexible work model, according to a survey of 9,000 in six countries conducted by Slack in late 2020
- That finding matched what 72% of 1,200 workers surveyed by PwC said: They want to keep the option to work from home 2+ days each week even after their company has returned to the office.
- Maybe that’s because remote workers are happier — at least that’s what a 2021 report from Owl Labs found. They reported remote workers were 22% happier than their fully onsite counterparts and tend to stay with their company longer.
It’s well known that remote work helps with employee retention by providing workers with a flexible schedule that allows them to balance their professional and personal lives. In turn, setting one’s own schedule can increase productivity and job satisfaction – two factors vital to retaining top talent.
Team communication: It’s complicated
Online or in-person communication? Communicating in real time or asynchronously?
Remote work arrangements have had a complicated effect on how teams communicate these days. Regardless of where they’re spending their time, remote workers typically need access to online chat tools like Slack for communicating with colleagues and managers. That way, whether they’re working down the hall from one another or from a different location than everyone else — communication doesn’t break down due to the physical distance between them and their team members.
But research shows some of the key staples of a remote work arrangement may also be adding to employee burnout and digital overload. For instance, a Microsoft study in 2021 found workers are dealing with a higher number of meetings, emails, and chat messages. With a constant stream of notifications piling up and coming in through multiple channels, it’s no surprise people say the rise in online communication is contributing to their feelings of being overworked and overwhelmed.