To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world would be an understatement. As lockdowns were introduced around the world, most companies had to suddenly ask their employees to work remotely. While some companies struggled during this time, others sailed right through the challenges and were even able to see an unexpected spike in productivity.
Remote work was already expected to become an industry norm by 2025, but because of the pandemic, we are now five years too early. No matter how sudden the shift to remote work might have been, the fact is, remote work is the new normal. The companies that embrace it will end up driving the change and the companies that resist it will eventually get driven out by it.
Remote work is here to stay
Even after the threat of the pandemic has been fought off, offices will never be the same. A large part of the workforce has now worked remotely for almost a year and employees now know that they don’t necessarily have to travel to the office every day, work from their office desk, and have face-to-face meetings, just to manage their job responsibilities.
The numerous benefits of remote work for both employees and organizations have become clear as day. Employees are more productive when they work from home and organizations get to save on infrastructure costs while hiring talent without any location limitations.
Many big companies like Twitter and Squarespace have already allowed their employees to work from home permanently. Most other companies are planning to take a hybrid approach to work, allowing employees to work from the office a few times a week and working from home the other times.
Technology will play a pivotal role in shifting to remote work
Physical office spaces were the epicenter of all the work before the pandemic hit. But the post-pandemic world will see a mix of both physical offices as well as independent home offices, and technology will play a pivotal role in making that possible.
Until now, organizations were using tools and technology that were specifically designed to make it easier for office employees to collaborate. But most of these legacy systems can’t completely support remote employees that have limited to no face to face interactions.
Organizations now need technological tools that can blur the boundaries between being physically in the office or working from home to maintain optimum collaboration and productivity.
For instance, in-office video conferencing cannot involve some people sitting face to face in a meeting room in their office while their remote counterparts watch the screen from the side, without being able to participate actively in the discussions. You have to make sure that every meeting and every discussion is done in a way that involves both in-office and remote employees equally.
The idea is to give employees a centralized, cloud-based work platform through which they can access work-related files, data, and applications–whether they are working remotely or from the office. All this starts with a digital strategy for going remote which is aligned with the everyday needs and challenges of your employees.
To drive change within your organization and make remote work a success, you need to take a bottom-up approach to build a remote work strategy that is helpful for employees and supports them in every way.
How digital workplaces help remote teams work together and drive change in the post-pandemic world
A digital workplace platform can help in digitally transforming an organization and work as a replacement of the traditional office space by digitizing all the internal business processes and converting them into streamlined workflows. It is a centralized platform that gives employees a dedicated place to access all of their work data, tasks, projects, tools, and applications.
More importantly, a digital workplace platform can seamlessly support both in-office and remote employees. That means, whether your team is suddenly forced to go remote due to a worldwide pandemic, or you are strategically turning your company fully/partially remote, you can make sure employees are always able to work with the same productivity and efficiency without any disruptions.
A digital workplace can help you by:
- Creating a more transparent work environment
- Making employees feel more engaged and involved
- Improving communication within teams and avoiding excessive emails
- Streamlining project management and task management
- Helping team members bond closely even when they can’t meet face to face
The future of work is now
Business leaders need to realize that remote work is not a temporary phase that is only meant to help organizations survive the pandemic. Remote work is the future of work, and the future is now. If your company still hasn’t planned a long-term remote work strategy, you need to start planning one now or you risk falling behind your competitors.
But to successfully implement remote work, you need the right tools and the right mindset. Introducing the right digital workplace platform can help you in maintaining the productivity and efficiency of your organization even when a part of the workforce or the complete workforce goes remote. This will in all likelihood be an important part of the future of work.