The Future Of Work: Remote Teams And Virtual Offices [REPACK]
When considering implementing a remote work policy for a team, most employers have concerns about how to manage, communicate, and monitor employee productivity. While remote work does take some adjustment by both parties, it offers unique value for the whole team. Companies will experience the following results if they switch their teams to a work-from-home model.
The Future of Work: Remote Teams and Virtual Offices
72% of talent professionals agree that work flexibility (which includes remote work options) will be critically important for the future of HR and recruiting. As more workers expect remote work offered as a benefit, companies that want to attract and retain top talent will have to offer some form of telecommuting to stay competitive.
One way to establish and monitor milestones is through online checklist boards such as Trello or Basecamp, which allow team members to communicate and signal project progress. Slack is another messaging app for remote teams with real-time message boards similar to Skype, but it has the ability to integrate multiple teams and give a sense of a virtual workplace.
Protecting sensitive company data is essential for remote teams. This means coordinating with IT experts to ensure virus software is up to date and firewalls are installed. To help team members understand the importance of data safety, consider setting up trainings for storing documents, sharing files, and creating strong passwords.
Last year, when it became clear that work was never going back to the way things were, we saw an opportunity and need to reimagine the employee experience and develop a future of work approach that leverages the best of in-person and virtual interactions to foster creativity, innovation, and culture.
Remote work was rare a decade ago. Working from home was usually available only as a special arrangement to accommodate families in specific cases. However, teleconferencing and telework technology have advanced to the point where some businesses thrive with completely remote teams.
This technology has advanced so quickly that many companies have even done away with traditional offices and instead run their businesses out of coworking spaces to accommodate their largely remote workforce.
Remote work also presents unique opportunities in the face of a crisis, such as a natural disaster or an epidemic. As the pandemic continues, remote work options allow workers to protect public health and be part of resilient teams.
Adopting a remote working policy can also save companies money by removing the need for expensive office space (or satellite offices) while allowing workers the freedom to create their own schedules and work from wherever they please. It can be a win-win situation.
Expect some friction. Employers may be in for a surprise. While employees do show interest in a range of scheduling options for the workweek, they have also been consistent throughout the year in that they expect more remote work in the future. There are minor differences. For example, 34% of younger respondents, aged 18 to 24, are more likely to prefer a remote schedule of one day a week or less, compared to 20% of all respondents.
Organizations initially hesitant to allow employees to work from home now have evidence that virtual offices are practical and sustainable. Also, as more companies offer remote work options, professionals who want to work from home have more choices. Inflexible employers are likely to see higher turnover rates from aspiring telecommuters.
An analysis from McKinsey predicts that in the coming years, three to four times as many professionals will work remotely at least part of the week. The hybrid work model has gained significant popularity, and experts expect that many companies will shift to hybrid offices where employees work on-site at least once or twice a week.
During the pandemic, many managers used Zoom for team building when coworkers could not meet in person. However, with more offices going fully or partially remote, there is a growing need for online team building. Virtual team building is one of the most quickly growing remote work trends. Companies increasingly turn to activities like online murder mysteries, Zoom happy hours, and virtual trivia to engage remote employees.
Remote team building also has utility beyond virtual offices. Even in more traditional workplaces, many professionals travel or have busy schedules. Coordinating team outings can be tricky, and often several team members miss the gatherings. Virtual team events accommodate wider audiences. Zoom events do not need travel time or parking hassles, participants can wear comfortable clothes and call from the couch, and there is a likely chance of spotting a pet or two. Plus, these gatherings are ideal for introverts with easily-drained social batteries, or parents who are wary of leaving kids for too long.
Industry standards may seem like age-old institutions, however the current workplace is a fairly modern invention. White-collar office work only rose to prominence in the past 150 years or so. Even within that time, workplaces shifted from private offices and cubicles to open floor plans. As the workforce moves towards more hybrid and remote work, office design will evolve again.
As remote work increases, so does virtual learning. Remote learning is convenient for employers and employees alike. Online modules and training videos ensure a consistent level of training for employees, and these self-guided courses allow staff to learn on their own schedules and paces. Digital courses are an easy way to bring continual education to the workforce.
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A hidden benefit of virtual brainstorming comes after the initial brainstorming process is complete. While traditional brainstorming leaves a far-from-complete record of ideas, due to sparse notes and fuzzy memories, scholars found that the complete record of electronic brainstorming has a substantial benefit as a treasury of novel ideas. As a situation changes, ideas that seemed more practical and useful in the past may appear less so in the future, and vice versa. The group can thus always go back to past ideas and re-rank them accordingly.
If you want to gain an innovation advantage in the future of work, you need to avoid the tendency to stick to pre-pandemic innovation methodology. Instead, you need to adopt research-based best practices for innovation in the return to the office and the future of work, such as virtual brainstorming. By doing so, your hybrid and remote teams will enable you to gain a true competitive advantage in innovation. 041b061a72