The onset of COVID-19 brought a lot of changes in our lives last year at all fronts. We adapted those changes and are now living in what is currently labelled as the ‘new normal’. One of those changes was converting our homes into offices, where meetings are held virtually, and ‘am I audible?’ became everyone’s catchphrase.
Even though it took a while to get the hang of working remotely, after an year it is safe to say that it does have a positive impact which led to a lot of companies resolving to remote work permanently. And believe it or not if we compare it to 2005, remote working has increased to a whooping 140%.
Here are 6 companies that have started offering remote work as an option to their employees and why you should consider it too.
Scope for diversity and inclusion in remote work - Facebook
Mark Zukerberg, CEO of Facebook, told BBC in an interview that the company will be adapting to working remotely till 2021 and even after the pandemic is gone 50% of its employees will continue to work from home permanently.
The VP of People Growth of Facebook, Brynn Harrington, also said that the employees are thriving in the work from home setup and will continue to do so as they are now close to their family. Facebook also plans on becoming more diverse and inclusive as the physical constraint will completely be eradicated.
Creating diversity at the workplace in the present times is not just a ‘nice thing’ to have it’s a mandate in most countries and industries. However, adapting to the needs of various groups becomes a challenging task.
A study done by the University of Kent stated that as much as 50% women employees quit working after childbirth as it becomes difficult to work the set timings. But given the possibility of remote work you can retain those employees and not lose out on great talent.
A beginning to sustainable remote work policies- DropBox
“Starting today, Dropbox is becoming a Virtual First company. Remote work (outside an office) will be the primary experience for all employees and the day-to-day default for individual work.” – Dropbox announced about the company jumping on the bandwagon of work from home through a blog post. They accepted that it will take some time to adapt but it’s the best move going forward.
Along with that, they decided the existing offices will be converted into Dropbox Studios where employees can work collaboratively as and when the need arrives. Taking their first step to a sustainable workspace and giving the command of deciding the schedule in their employees hands.
Needles to say, creating a functional workspace for your employees does involve huge costing and planning but when you move to remote working you can curtail this cost by huge margins.
A study done by Global Workspace Analytics showed that companies, on an average, can save a minimum of $2,500 to $4,000 per employee if they start working remotely for half the time. This can be increased by moving into a smaller space and focusing only on basic infrastructure. It’s the silver lining financially that we have all been trying to search for.
Punctuality in virtual remote work space- Slack
While we all got stressed out by the announcement of work from home, Slack stayed confident as they were cut out for exactly that. Hence, it was a no-brainer when they made the announcement of work from home for their employees.
“First and foremost, that means prioritizing our employees’ health and wellbeing, while also providing as much clarity as possible on our plans for the future.”- Slack announced to its employees through the blog post. As of now, Slack has made permanent work from home an option for employees.
Remote work has also shown great results when it comes to punctuality be it for internal team meetings or client meetings. The feasibility of joining meetings with just one-click has for sure resulted in an increase in punctuality. In fact, the usual stand up calls that happen in IT companies every morning for 15 minutes at least turned into simple mailers sent at the convenience of employees. People have started following the schedule more rigorously.
Encouraging work-life balance in while working remotely - Spotify
Earlier this year, Spotify made the big announcement about them going completely remote for all it’s employees permanently. They gave a complete choice to their employees whether they want to work from the comfort of home, drop by to the office, or even work from a co-working space. They introduced a new revamped model to their employees along with the guidelines on how they will be moving forward.
“As part of our ongoing Dynamic Workplace effort, we’re reevaluating our office spaces across the globe for increased sustainability, flexibility, and well-being to ensure that all of our employees, regardless of ability or situation, can work comfortably and efficiently,” read the company’s blog post.
We all would be lying if we say that work-life balance is not vital for a person’s productivity. A study in 2018 showed that if employees are allowed to work from home at least once a week they will be 24% more productive and happy. Imagine the result when it’s permanently remote work!
Our personal lives do have an impact on our professional life and work from home allows us to pay attention to both. The time people end up saving in commutes can be used to enrich their personal life to help them give great output at work. Do encourage your employees to find time for themselves and do things they love. You would be surprised with the results!
Enhanced remote work productivity- Upwork
The world’s largest freelance market, Upwork, too didn’t withhold itself from becoming a remote first company.
Hayden Brown, the CEO of work announced it to the world with the tweet
“@Upwork knows firsthand the incredible outcomes that distributed teams can deliver. Building on our 20 years of experience as a remote work company, we are now permanently embracing a “remote-first” model.”
A study by Stanford done with 16,000 workers for 9 months showed that work from home increases productivity by 13%. Working from home or remotely allows employees to set up their own work environment devoid of distractions which results in more productivity. Most companies were functioning with an open floor plan globally before pandemic and honestly, it does cause distraction.
But when working remotely if employees work from their own space at their own time their productivity will be significantly higher as compared while they worked from office. The freedom will also result in an increase in accountability.
Higher talent pool, more choices- Shopify
On May 21, 2020, the founder and CEO of Shopify, Tobi Lutke, announced on twitter that the company will become ‘digital by default’ by starting remote working till 2021. Along with it he also stated that even after 2021 most of the employees will continue to work from home.
He recounted all the changes that the company has been so far and encouraged the employees to adapt and thrive in the change. “There are silver linings: we now have the opportunity to be joined by a whole lot of incredible individuals from around the world that otherwise couldn’t because of our previous default to proximity.”- Tobe Lutke.
Proximity has been an issue while hiring during Pre-COVID times. Often companies had to let go of great candidates just because they were in a different city but that challenge has been completely overcome. Since, most of the companies are now working remotely they have the opportunity to hire people from across the country or even the globe without having to worry about the relocation or commute. This also gives candidates a free will to work for their dream companies without having to step out of their homes. It’s a win-win situation honestly!
It took us a while to get the hang of the remote work scenario, but not that we have stepped in the pool, don’t be scared to fathom the lengths and depths. Though there are certain challenges and the office breaks will definitely be missed but the benefits of working from home far outweigh the obstacles.
And hey, you can always catch up with your team for a virtual tea break and catch up with them! So, what are you waiting for, start weighing the pros and cons and start planning your shift to a partial or permanent remote work setup.