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The New Normal: Will the Current Climate Cause A Lasting Rise In Remote Working?

Posted by on July 25, 2020 in Business with 0 Comments

The future of work is rapidly changing. Telecommuting, or remote working, has become increasingly common for office workers over the last decade. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic and shutdowns requiring workers to work from home when possible, this trend has received an enormous boost. Those who had already offered a work-from-home-model in their organisation were at an advantage, though later adopters are now rapidly catching up.

New best practices are emerging from finding the right invoicing software to ensuring that employees have reliable high-speed internet connections at home. Knowing more about the pandemic’s impact on remote working and what this means for your business is something that every business owner needs to reflect on.

Let’s look a little more closely at the rising trend in remote working and what this means for businesses in Australia.

Future Of Remote Working

The big question on everyone’s mind is whether or not the large increase in employees working from home will continue after coronavirus shutdowns come to an end. On the one hand, working from home, at least part of the time, has already been on the rise in offices throughout Australia. After businesses experience the cost-savings of having their employees working from their own homes without the need for commercial real estate, it is likely that many firms will make the switch into working from home on a full-time basis. In other cases, firms may downsize and allow employees to choose whether working from home is better for their needs.

On the other hand, most firms will likely return to their former habits after the coronavirus restrictions are lifted. While the shutdowns have lasted for several months, and while social distancing measures will continue to be in place for the foreseeable future, it is expected that most firms will find that remaining in the office is preferred for productivity and collaborative benefits.

Challenges Of Working Remotely

Originally, many employers feared that a massive surge of employees working from home would lead to dramatic declines in productivity. After all, at home, there are numerous distractions to drive people away from their work. At home, there is no supervisor telling you what you need to be working on who has an office down the hall.

Fortunately, this has not turned out to be the case. Although statistics are uncertain given the persistent economic disruption caused by the pandemic, workers in most industries are not observing significant decreases in their productivity. However, many workers have lost their jobs altogether. And it is important to remember that not all work can be done remotely. Office workers represent only a fraction of the total labour force. Therefore, some or even most jobs will continue to take place in the workplace.

Many office workers are now also struggling with a lack of interaction with their colleagues. This has led to some concerns over inefficient collaboration and group work. Although there are numerous software tools available to foster collaboration remotely, as yet these are not a substitute for face to face interaction with colleagues.

Preparing For The Future

Supervisors and business managers who want to make sure that they are prepared for the future of work need to take action. If you had shifted to a fully or partially remote working structure before the pandemic, then you are well-positioned for whatever may come in the future. However, if remote working is a new concept in your organisation, then you need to think about what you can do to make things work, especially if remote work is here to stay.

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