Remote work, or mobile employment: whatever you call it, is impossible to ignore in today’s business environment.
For today’s employees, work is often seen as an activity, not a place, and companies of all sizes are embracing it to stay competitive and of course, to adapt to the constraints of the health crisis.
For many companies, this employee benefit has been a huge success, resulting in productivity gains, motivation, and retention while reducing operating costs.
- Today, “29% of French employees use telecommuting” (source: statista).
- In one year, the number of teleworkers has increased by 700,000, according to a study published by the Malakoff Médéric – Humanis insurance group in 2019.
- “Remote work is now practiced by 30% of private sector employees. And their satisfaction rate is up compared to 2018: 82% versus 77%.” (source: malakoffhumanis.com 2020).
- In the U.S., 80% of workers say they would turn down a job if flexible work were not part of it (source: IWG).
- By 2030, demand for telecommuting will increase by 30% as Gen Z enters the workforce fully (source: Gartner).
Remote work is a way of working in which the employee works away from the company’s premises, usually from home, but it can also be a café, a library, or any other remote work location.
In remote work, communication with the employer, co-workers, and clients is done by phone, email, and communication apps.
Sometimes the employee may come to the office to attend meetings and connect with his or her team, but this is less and less necessary as face-to-face interaction is replaced by virtual interaction via cell phone and computer screens.
Remote work has many advantages, both from the point of view of entrepreneurs or business leaders and the employees themselves.
Some of the benefits of Remote work include:
For many employees, eliminating the daily commute can make them happy enough to stay with your company long-term.
The flexibility of remote work can mean the difference between keeping and losing your best people.
This is another benefit of Remote work worth considering. People who have difficulty commuting to work may see Remote work as an opportunity they might not have had just a few years ago.
In many cases, these individuals can make a great contribution to the company.
Among the many benefits of Remote work is a broader global reach.
When a company is looking for someone with a particular skill set, interest, or even personality, it can be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for in a limited area.
Remote work gives companies the ability to search for specific individuals and bring them into their country, regardless of previously insurmountable barriers such as location or language.
Remote work options can also help you retain top talent if an employee needs to relocate.
By allowing your employees to work from home, you help them avoid a stressful – and often distracting – work environment.
Since your employees should spend very little time in the office, you can save a lot of money by letting them work from home.
This money saved can then be spent on other costs, such as product research or content development.
Just as Remote work has advantages for businesses and employees, it also has disadvantages for both parties.
When an employee works from home for an extended period of time, a sense of isolation can set in sooner or later.
You can use webinars and teleconferences to provide opportunities for team interaction.
Also, have them come into the office from time to time for meetings, training, or holiday parties.
Remote work can be a non-starter if your team needs constant supervision, which is much more difficult, if not impossible, with remote employees.
To avoid getting stuck with a higher volume of work with your remote employees, recruit people who don’t need constant interaction with a manager to do their job.
The biggest obstacle to managing remote work is accountability. It’s hard to know if your team is actually working or if some of them are just sitting at home watching TV.
To ensure accountability, implement performance monitoring processes, including daily contact and activity reports.
Working from home can make an employee feel excluded from the team, resulting in decreased performance and more difficulty in meeting company goals.
However, there are good methods to fight against this problem so that your employees feel part of your team: organize regular meetings, make more calls, encourage calls between employees…
Company culture is a big part of what makes employers good: how they treat their employees, reward effort, etc.
When you don’t have employees in one location, in a one-time zone, it’s hard for your staff to feel included or like part of a team. This can affect their work ethic and commitment to your product or company.
Even with modern technology such as phones, video devices, and instant messaging software, it can be easy for messages to get lost in the correspondence between managers and remote workers.
Before considering working from home, an employee should conduct a self-assessment to determine if telecommuting is a realistic option.
The manager should also conduct a similar assessment of the employee and the two parties can discuss the options together.
It is recommended that remote work options be evaluated based on three elements:
The individual: does the employee have the required abilities and skills?
The function: can the work be done from home?
And the home environment: does it meet basic safety and ergonomic standards?
remote work is not possible for everyone. This is the case for people who work in a manufacturing plant, for example.
To embrace remote work, managers must learn how to communicate and collaborate with virtual employees and vice versa.
To do this, a good grasp of the appropriate technologies can facilitate the desired interaction.
In addition, employees must also be trained in the use of collaboration tools and enterprise software to take full advantage of their investment in them.
It is essential for the functioning of any company that its employees (remote or not) use this software in a competent way.