In 2020, remote work was front and center on the global stage. In 2021, it's only becoming stronger, so here are the main reasons remote work is not going anywhere.
Once the pandemic is officially over, many habits that have become normal due to COVID-19 will (hopefully!) fade away. Remote work, however, is undoubtedly here to stay. It may not be the first choice of all knowledge workers all the time, but it will indeed remain a part of our professional routines, mainly because it has proven it can deliver a number of benefits. Here are some of the most significant advantages we’ve seen to assure us that remote work is here to stay in 2021 and beyond:
Increased productivity is probably one of the most apparent benefits of remote work, and many studies have been cited in the past year to prove it. Still, it’s worth repeating that a vast majority of remote workers report increased productivity when working from home or in another remote setting. Whether it’s the lack of pressure to dress up, the time saved on commuting, or the trust placed in them to do their best work offsite, productivity grows outside of the office.
We have been organizing our lives around our work schedule for a very long time. Remote work allows us to consider the possibility of doing it the other way around. Life events and emergencies don’t choose available calendar slots or your least busy workday. Being able to work remotely enables work to continue, even when life throws us a curveball. With flexible work schedules, it quickly becomes a lot easier to find balance and do everything we need.
You can take a lunch break, go for an afternoon jog, or pick up your children from school when you’re not chair-bound from 9 to 5. The possibility of dividing the workday into several chunks is one of the most significant upsides to working remotely. With just a little organizing, workers can run their errands and complete their work on time, which reduces the stress and anxiety that many workers feel when managing both their work and personal lives.
From the standpoint of employers, saving money is one of the crucial pros of remote work. Spending less on real estate, maintenance, and upkeep, while maintaining overall productivity is not a small incentive. If we add commuting expenses and catering, it’s even more apparent why many companies are considering downsizing their office spaces. Companies can reroute the saved money, which can be up to $11,000 for every part-time remote employee, to new products, R&D, new hires, or better employee perks — salaries included!
Remote work empowers distributed teams. These teams can work together from all across the world without being geographically confined to an office location. By opening hiring practices to talent worldwide, companies gain a larger talent pool, making it easier to fill specific roles and hire a more diverse workforce.
Working with colleagues and employees scattered across countries and cultures can also benefit a company’s diversity and creative thinking. Distributed teams emphasize an employee’s value rather than their location, so companies get the best workers for the job, not the ones living the closest.
Our workspaces aren’t the only thing changing: our job descriptions continuously evolve. Daily workloads have become less repetitive and more creative; our KPIs are result-oriented, not time-related. If our tasks shift from requiring a quiet environment for the deep focus to getting a team together for collaboration and brainstorming, it’s logical we need different types of spaces for different types of work.
Hybrid work gives workers the possibility to switch between meeting their colleagues and working alone, depending on their workday. Whether employees opt to alternate between the office and their home or settle into a neighborhood workspace, their mobility ensures they are best equipped to do their best work every day.
Not going into the office every day for an entire day reshapes how remote professionals spend their time. With remote work on the rise, neighborhoods are becoming more prominent in our day-to-day lives, increasing our visits to local cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores. When working remotely, you can explore your neighborhood, find your favorite small businesses, and become a regular customer, which is a much-needed boon for your local economy.
The environmental impact of remote work may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s not inconsequential. Reducing commute hours and the carbon footprint of office buildings benefit all the inhabitants of planet Earth. Companies and employees alike can now take actions that increase sustainability without disrupting work or investing enormous amounts of money. As time goes by, we are sure there will be even more ways to reduce our footprint and environmental impact.
Remote work is by no means perfect, and there is a risk of isolation and loneliness for those working from home all the time. However, there is also a myriad of ways to mitigate these risks by offering programs and benefits that encourage your employee’s well-being and work-life balance. Perks and benefits for remote workers can range from fitness allowances and Netflix subscriptions to home office setups and reimbursements for using workspaces. Ensuring workers feel supported and heard, whether they are in the office or working remotely, will do wonders for employee satisfaction and productivity.
The team at Gable is thrilled to be smack dab in the middle of this tremendous global shift to more fluid, productive work environments that really work for everyone. We provide remote professionals and employers with clean, safe, and inspiring workspaces that reduce burnout, increase productivity, and encourage connection.