Right now, there are tons of people searching to find the right work-life balance. Adults are juggling the responsibilities of caring for kids, caring for parents, and trying to care for themselves, all while trying to be productive employees. On top of that, now that people are beginning to move out of big cities and into the suburbs, long commutes to work are starting to eat away even more time. According to search results from thousands of job searchers on Job/Searcher, the solution that many people have turned to is remote work.
The transition into remote work has been one of the largest workplace trends in 2020 and 2021. While the pandemic accelerated this trend and made it a necessity for businesses to continue operations, the success of remote work has kept it around for the long haul for many companies.
There are companies who are still highly resistant to remote work for a number of reasons. Maybe remote work is too difficult on collaboration needs, or maybe workplace culture is suffering because employees aren’t interacting every day and getting to know each other. While these reasons are valid, employers can’t hide the fact that remote work has been successful across a number of industries.
According to a study done by Owl Labs, employers’ reservations about remote work aren’t necessarily employee loneliness, employees’ career implications, or managing their employees. The concern is mostly about productivity, employee engagement and satisfaction, and if remote employees are able to get their work done.
On the other hand, the Owl Labs report, as well as reports from McKinsey and Stanford, show that employees feel positively about remote work’s ability to positively impact productivity, engagement and satisfaction, and their ability to perform. Employees are even willing to switch employment if remote work is not an option post-pandemic.
So, while employers may have reservations, it may be time to figure out how to incorporate remote work into employees’ schedules. This will not only keep employees happy, but it could also keep them from suffering from burnout or leaving the company. Who knows, there may be some advantages for employers as well.
Here are three ways employers can incorporate remote work into their employees’ schedules.
Create a Collaboration-Based Remote Work Schedule
In companies, there are often times when different departments collaborate on projects or responsibilities. For example, if Microsoft were launching a new product, the product development team and the marketing team may need to collaborate to ensure the best success for user experience and marketing tactics.
In cases such as these, a company’s rotation schedule could be collaboration-based. Departments that are more integrated could be on the same schedule where they work in the office and work remotely on the same days. Then at the end of every week or every two weeks, everyone reports to work in the office to ensure collaboration efforts are flowing smoothly.
Allow employees to work full-remote schedules
While this may not be the best option for industries such as law or education, this has proven to be a good option for people in other industries such as:
- IT (Information technology)
- Accounting and Finance
- Customer Service
- Administrative Healthcare
Many people who work in these industries realize that the majority of their work can be successfully done from home, but employers don’t really know how to manage their employees without seeing and monitoring their productivity.
Most of the time, employees with full remote work schedules can be observed via Zoom calls, productivity software to help keep them on a schedule, or even by stopping in one to two times per month to give a preview and overview of the month.
Allow individual employees to create their own hybrid schedules
This option would likely make employees the happiest because not only do you give them authority over creating their own schedule, but they also have a good balance between being at work and being at home.
There are different approaches to allowing employees to create their own hybrid schedules. Employers could first create a half-and-half or two-thirds requirement, requiring employees to come into the office 2-3 times per week, but allowing employees to choose which days they come in.
Another way employers could allow employees to pick and choose their remote work hybrid schedules is by separating their assigned tasks by determining whether the task is “office-friendly” or “remote-friendly”. An office-friendly task would be a task that should be completed in the office, while remote-friendly tasks are something that can be done from home. If employees have the flexibility to choose when they work on certain tasks, then determining whether certain tasks should be done in-office or remotely can give employees another level of authority over their schedule.
While a hybrid schedule is one of the best ways to incorporate remote work into a workplace, employers may still have apprehensions about managing productivity. While employers do have to rely more heavily on employees’ self-motivation, there are different tactics employers can use to monitor and promote employee productivity and performance. The main idea is just to make sure the goals set are realistic and measurable.
Workplace trends are continually changing whether you are working one of the highest-paying jobs, a medium-salaried job, or a lower-wage job. While the traditional 9-5 is fading away, more and more people are buying into the concept of remote work. Many people are even willing to quit their job if they are not given a remote work option. Creating a happy workforce is what every employer strives for, so as time continues to tick, it is important for employers to look for ways to incorporate remote work into their workplace.