Is remote working going to stick around after the pandemic? By Dinura Ediriweera

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The new normal seems to be appealing to more and more employees.

It has been over a year since COVID-19 hit the world by surprise and forced all of us into social distancing. Things were chaotic as we tried to get used to the harsh truth of having to cut all physical interactions and lock ourselves up inside our homes. In the midst of that, adapting to remote working and managing the chores of the house at the same time started to take a toll on most of us as everyone was longing to get back to the usual lifestyle.  

But, how do your employees feel about remote working now?

The remote working transformation has been like a predefined change management process except that it was not predefined and the pros and cons were not clear. Similar to the resistance observed during the beginning of a change management process, remote working too faced a lot of resistance, but not so much at the moment as the silver lining to the dark cloud became clearer. Employees were able to cut down on traveling expenses, eating out expenses, time spent on the road to and from work while getting to spend more time with kids and family. Altogether, it seemed to be a pretty good deal even though physical interactions were still hoped for. 

According to research conducted by Deloitte, after the pandemic is over, 88% of its respondents do not wish to work at the office every day while 62% wishes to work from home on some days, 26% to work from home all the time, and only 12% to work from the office as before. Hence, the direction of the trend is clear, but the direction of the companies is what’s going to matter.

 

How are employers reacting to this trend?

Over the past couple of months, leading companies such as Google, Amazon, Goldman Sachs & JPMorgan announced their plans of getting employees back at the office. A main concern among the employers in terms of remote working and the reasons why employees should return to the office is the ability to closely monitor performance and the ability to work closely when it comes to solving tough problems. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google also mentioned, “we do think we need to create more flexibility and more hybrid models,” while companies such as Twitter, Spotify, Microsoft, Salesforce, etc. have already initiated hybrid models which allow employees to either work from home or from the office or a mix.

A study conducted among UK citizens has also identified that 78% of its respondents feel that their productivity has increased when they are working from home. Therefore, as the requirement of working from the office is different for each job role, companies need to identify such requirements and the employee expectations when building hybrid models to make sure employees are happy and their productivity is not lost in trying to defy employee expectations.

 

How can an HRIS help accommodate this change? 

OrangeHRM’s HRMS/HR management software is rich with features that help manage employees when they are working at the office or even from home. With multiple features ranging from time tracking to paid time off management to performance management, OrangeHRM can help your organization manage the downsides of working from home effectively allowing you to keep your employees happy and productive. 

If the concern is the inability to monitor your employees closely, OrangeHRM’s time tracking feature can be utilized to view what tasks the employee has engaged in throughout the day and how many hours they’ve spent on each task so you can advise them whenever required. Even if you need to create more engagement among your employees through training programs, the OrangeHRM training module can be used to plan and execute training regardless of where your employee is. That’s not all! With the performance management feature, organizations can also conduct performance reviews/appraisals easily and monitor the progress of each employee throughout the review cycle. 


Learn more ways of how OrangeHRM can help you navigate through these uncertain times by signing up for a FREE demo here.