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How have we succeeded in the transition to fully remote jobs: A review

Over the last year, millions of Americans have been working at home all over the country due to the Coronavirus pandemic. By January 2022, the percentage of the population employed at home grossed 3 times its initial share between January 2019 and December 2021, consequently rising from 5.7% to over 18%, which equals 27.6 million, per the estimation by the US Census Bureau. Some companies force their employees to return to the office, while others adopt a hybrid or all Work From Home (WFH) system which may be undetermined in the future. With rapid and significant change in the mode of workforce remodeling, an organization will forever have to help its employees seamlessly migrate into long-term WFH.  The rapid digital innovations and changes in the field of employment have equally led to significant increases in the employment of remote work that is very convenient for workers. Some, who had the very same experience, may see remote work as simply turning on your computer and doing it at home, but it is much more complicated than that. A successful transition demands you to pay due attention to details, preparation, and learning to get used to the new workplace and the culture. At the start of a pandemic, there is no room for debate; companies simply have to shift to remote workforce mode. It was fortunate that everything fell into place at the right time. In this article, we will get into some details concerning the successful adaptation of a remote job, whether looking for a new role or changing the mode in the current one. We will be learning how we are accomplished in our journey of working remotely. It’s time to stay and work from home.

WFH: The Evolution

The rise in the population working class from home was multiplied by 4 in 2019 (from 7% to 40%). Nowadays almost every fourth employee works remotely at least one day a week. The productivity of WFH greatly depends on the way, so the mode is the factor that influences the highest amount of productivity of remote work. Work with a fully remote setup can have a loss of 10% of productivity as contrasted with normal face-to-face work. Differences with online communications are sometimes, difficulties of mentoring, collectivism, and self-motivation, problems are what appear to be the causes. Unlike, for instance, WFH may result in dependent evictions and worldwide staffing, which is an attractive solution for businesses. There is not a single study showing the negative effect hybrid working has on productivity nonetheless the majority of companies are happy with the hybrid working model because it helps in their employee recruitment and retention. The future of WFH inevitably relies on the evolution of technologies to help improve remote working and this will require continuous research and development in all these areas. 

Key remote work statistics review

As figuring out the unpredictable landscape of work in a pandemic-determined world in 2023, we notice some key statistics about WFH. By the end of 2023, the statistics reveal that 12.2% of the employees WFH while the other 28.2% of the employees work a hybrid model. This latest figure states that 12.7% of full-time workers operate from home, which goes to show how remote working has become an established practice. However, on the other hand, a large number of 28.2% of the employees were able to find the balance and they preferred a hybrid working model that would combine work in the office and WFH. While this model is a hybrid that combines working from home and a typical office setting, it also includes flexibility and some staff physically present in the office. Attendance in your workplace in a virtual space is growing steadily, though a majority of employees (59.1 percent) still tend to work in the office. Presenting that this percentage only shows the reality that working in the office may be disappearing, but it is far from being gone. The majority of the modern economy’s sectors are seeing a significant shift in employment. Considering the developments, the remote work industry seems promising projecting the American remote work as of 2025, that is 32.6 million workers that would be working remotely, which is supposedly 22% of the workforce. It means that a shift obviously should occur, but it will not be that classical sharp turn, but a smooth and continuous growth.

41 workers out of 5 want to work remotely at least some of the time. What seems to be particularly intriguing is the worker’s tendency to favor WFH alongside the overall trend. Nothing shocking is the fact that more than 98% of employees responded by saying that they would prefer to work remotely, at least half of the time. This daunting figure indicates that more and more employees find remote working an appropriate solution for their need to be in charge of their own time, to work on their terms, and to achieve this goal without disruption in their personal lives.

93% of business bosses prioritize remote and online interviews as they want to keep them. Employers’ acceptance of remote work, which is also very much reflected on their part, is another reality. Impressively, there is a massive 93% of the workforce who are anticipating to remain doing their interviews from remote locations. This suggests the willingness to switch to online methods, and the nature of such possibility being considered as an enduring one.

16 % of the companies are fully remote. Around 16% of companies are now fully remote having no physical office. Such companies are the pioneers of the WFH system precedent, proving its validity and creating a platform for others to follow.

How have we succeeded in the transition to fully remote jobs?

Factors contributing to success

Several key factors have contributed to the success of the transition to WFH:

Technological infrastructure: The provision of a rich set of interactive and developer mail tools, for instance – Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams has been the important thing that has been instrumental in aiding smooth WFH. Virtual meeting platforms, email-sending apps, project management, and communication in real-time are techniques that help WFH employees eliminate the gap between them.

Cultural shift: It was the ones that proved themselves to be adaptive and started to embrace a cultural shift toward trust, autonomy, and performance-based outcomes, which had the most success transitioning to WFH systems. Instead of overseeing and authorizing employees solely based on the hours they spend in the office, companies today generally emphasize output, which leads to empowering employees to allocate their time properly and to accomplish their targets under their time frame.

Work-life balance: Employees can enjoy working flexibly in the WFH system and hence have the ability to juggle their personal and professional lives more easily. Through cutting out commutes and working from a home position, employees receive improved emotional welfare and job surface, which results in a much higher production rate and a decrease in workforce attrition.

Cost savings: For employers, the main cost-saving opportunity is provided through the fact that they can reduce overhead expenses related to office maintenance by conducting their employees at various locations. Furthermore, inner work accommodates companies to seek the skills almost anywhere in the world, thus connecting to the talent with a diverse background as well as keeping the recruitment expenses down.

What is the impact of the WFH system on businesses and employees?

The transition to fully remote jobs has had a profound impact on both businesses and employees:

Increased productivity: What at first appears to be an uphill battle in terms of productivity is a step forward as most of the studies reveal that remote workers are more productive than workers who have to go to the office. Without settling into the office environment, WFH employees are engaged better and discover projects or tasks efficiently.

Enhanced flexibility: Being employed remotely gives employees the chance to choose their schedule which helps when their peak productivity hours are different from most other people and they have to take care of personal commitments on the clock. This agility allows workers to have a better work-life balance and diminishes the chance of job-related burnout.

Geographical diversity: WFH already has demolished the spatial restrictions, making it possible to hire applicants from faraway countries. Diversity in the way people think, and deal with things and the ability to solve problems is a great factor that contributes to the company’s creativity, innovative ideas, and problem-solving.

Challenges of remote collaboration: On the one hand, distance employment offers a lot of value, but at the same time it has its drawbacks; one such problem, especially for effective collaboration and communication, is the geographical span. The communication between the remote team members suffers from hurdles, especially time-zone differences, different cultures, and limited facial expression. Hence, they have to ensure the implementation of effective collaboration.

Essential WFH tips for enhanced productivity

Survival in these new situations can be tricky, so we would advise a few WFH tips to improve productivity.

  1. Set communication guidelines: To make sure that all team members understand each other effectively, decide on rules for the frequency, timing, and means of communication. As well, find out how the cross-departmental communication will go. Decide what the best communication medium would be in a given situation. For example, if a matter can be clarified in an email or chat message, then that particular meeting can certainly be scrapped. On the other hand, if the occasion dictates extensive two-way communication in real-time, a phone call would be much more appropriate.
  2. Establish project goals and expectations from the beginning: To set the expectations at the beginning, it’s better to especially handle projects that are highly cross-functional for communication delays. Identify and set individual and team priorities. Give specific instructions, goals, and dates for projects. Following the setting of expectations and goals, you need to be ready to provide answers and clarification, when necessary. Once projects are implemented, give regular feedback to make sure that expectations are being met. It is also essential to adjust and plan for any schedule changes.
  3. Over-talk when working in different time zones: Virtual jobs may be useful for WFH employees to work anywhere they find suitable. On the other hand, when people work at different time zones, lag time is increased. To avoid wasting time between exchanges, be as detailed as you can in your messages or emails.
  4. Record team meetings: Having bigger team gatherings or all-hands gatherings is when you can get to talk to your other team members and have a feel for the whole company. Nevertheless, the time world time difference and being ill or on vacation will still mean some of the team cannot attend the meeting. To encourage equal participation and equal accessibility of information, make sure to record and share all the virtual meetings with everyone. Make ways to stay on target at home. It doesn’t just mean you can’t work because you are away from the office. 

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