Four important ways remote working is improving office-based employment

COVID-19 has forced many offices to adopt a full-time remote working strategy for their staff.

In this article, Chris Stappard, Managing Director at Edward Reed Recruitment, takes a look at some of the ways this switch has improved office-based employment on the whole.

COVID-19 has cast a long shadow over the year, creating a world where social distancing is part of everyday life. This has meant that many office workers have been unable to travel into work as they would usually do, so many companies have had to quickly put a remote working solution in place.

While working from home was becoming more common before the pandemic, COVID-19 has forced many firms to switch to a brand new full-time remote working model.

This has had its downsides, like not being able to meet face to face, not seeing work colleagues, and the danger of employees feeling isolated, but it has also brought about a lot of upsides to these jobs.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways that remote working is improving previously office-based employment.

1) Businesses are more productive

Though it’s easy to think that an entire company working remotely is less likely to get as much done, the truth is actually the opposite. In a recent survey, 43% of European employers said that working from home during the pandemic has seen a boost in productivity for the business (Eden McCallum). 

This shows that, despite the distances separating staff, businesses have still been able to function, and even outperform themselves through the crisis, chiefly thanks to the advancements in technology that have improved the ways employees can communicate and collaborate remotely.

And, with new developments being accelerated all the time, home working is set to become even easier.

2) Many employees have enjoyed working from home

We all know that the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has been difficult, and having to adapt to a new working routine will have only added extra stress initially. However, there are some positives, as many office staff have found that they’ve come to enjoy working remotely. 

Research by the Institute of Employment discovered that 67% of employees enjoyed the autonomy of working from home, while 80% felt accomplished in their job and 77% were happy their employer was trusting them more.

With responses like these, it’s easy to see that many workers are quite satisfied with the experience of remote working, though businesses should still take steps to ensure that their staff continue to benefit from the arrangement.

3) Employers have access to better talent

As more offices are now remote working and will likely adopt a more flexible approach in the future, they will soon begin to see the benefit that this brings when they need to recruit staff.

For one, working remotely removes any geographical barriers there may have been when hiring new team members, which completely opens up the talent pool for businesses.

Companies will be able to target new hires from almost anywhere, no matter where they’re based, making it easier to find top candidates. Plus, the need to think about commuting or relocating will be removed for employees.

Before COVID-19, workers were increasingly looking for remote working as a perk of any job – 99% of people wanted to work from home at least some of the time, according to a Buffer survey.

And, because many offices have been forced to adapt quickly to a remote model, they will be much better equipped to attract the very best candidates, provided they continue to offer the option post-COVID.

4) Improved work-life balance

In a typical day spent working from home, an employee doesn’t need to spend time commuting, has access to their entire home kitchen for lunch, and can take care of a variety of quick tasks during the day, such as accepting a parcel or putting in a load of washing. Not to mention that they can spend more time with their family or pets on a daily basis. 

With less pressure around these elements of the day, staff have been able to enjoy a better work-life balance while working from home. And, provided that employers continue to make sure their employees aren’t overburdening themselves, there’s no reason why remote working can’t be a nice change of pace.

Should the trend continue beyond the pandemic, we may even see the wide-scale introduction of other improvements to the work-life balance, like being able to do flexible hours or enjoy a staycation while logging into the remote office.

Hopefully, this article has highlighted some of the benefits that have come out of offices working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. With some luck, these changes will continue to provide a better working experience for employees well beyond the pandemic.