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For decades now, the rigid work model of clocking in and out of an office has threatened to become a thing of the past. As already-widespread devices like smartphones and laptops become sleeker and more sophisticated by the year, one must question whether subjecting workers to tiresome commutes and depersonalized environments is really necessary. And though the paradigm shift that remote work represents may be anxiety-inducing to leaders who lean conservative, the current global pandemic has left many with no choice but to give it a go.
Companies at the forefront of innovation have more in common than a passionate belief in their mission — they have their fingers firmly placed on the pulse of society, functioning through a deep understanding of collective needs and desires. This mindset, when genuine, is applied not only in their outreach strategies to target markets, but in their internal operations as well.
It is now regarded as a simple fact: Employees do not need to be micromanaged. Technology has empowered individuals to seize control of a number of aspects of their day-to-day lives, and work — an activity that takes up considerable sums of most people’s days — is no exception. Productivity has been shown to increase when employees are given the trust and freedom to carry out their tasks on their own terms, which increasingly means “outside of a traditional office setting.”
Companies who had previously enforced even a partial work-from-home scheme have doubtlessly experienced the pandemic in a more seamless way than those who remained adamant on outdated work structures. This is because the numerous boons that remote work offers aren’t immediately apparent or accessible by simply flipping the switch. The cost-cutting benefits of eliminating an office are clear, but companies still need to invest in their employees by providing them with an ideal environment in which to perform.
The current pandemic has thrust many traditional office employees into a work-from-home scheme that they and their employers were unprepared for. People with partners, roommates, or children are finding it difficult to adapt, and it’s no surprise; without the necessary tools, turning a home into an office is less than ideal. Additionally, managers have been left feeling disconnected from their teams, which has led many of them to enforce constant check-ins and conference calls. But this need to ensure productivity can actually hinder it, making employees feel watched over and stressed. Ideally, a remote work scheme is mapped out before it is applied — employees should be able to designate and prepare an area of their homes for work, and the relationship to their managers should be mediated to ensure that every member feels valued, and not simply left to their own devices.
The COVID-19 crisis has rendered the immediate future of office spaces uncertain. Remote work is not simply a temporary fix, and it isn’t the future, either. It’s the present we’re all living and, for many, it’s here to stay.
Check out how GroWrk can help you make the best of it, here.