Remote work: an undeniably attractive option

COVID-19 has changed the lives of billions of people all over the world. Among the obvious and tremendously sad changes such as losing loved ones, ongoing anxiety, normal social life deprivation and many others, the world’s so-called “office society” experienced a significant change of perception related to working remotely. Even the World Economic Forum defines a flexible approach to a workplace organization as one of the most critical for the future of the labor market.

Remote work became an amazing discovery that proved to be advantageous for the work-life balance. Commute time, lunch-related expenses, and office proper attire clothes-related spending have been just some of the negatives related to working from the office.

Previous in-office work environment lovers discovered that the ability to work remotely brought them a lot of perks. For example, working from home allowed them to spend more time with their families, to free up time for reading more often, to allow time for exercise, to allow themselves to take power naps when they’re really needed, and to integrate better eating habits.

Remote work-related statistics

A Statistic Canada study released on January 4th, 2021 (about the impact of telework on teleworkers’ performance and productivity), provided some data that allows decision makers to better assess the pros and cons of working remotely.

Of all new teleworkers, 90% reported being at least as productive, i.e., accomplishing at least as much work per hour, at home as they were previously at their usual place of work.

More than half (58%) reported accomplishing about the same amount of work per hour, while roughly one-third (32%) reported accomplishing more work per hour. The remaining 10% mentioned that they accomplished less work per hour while working at home than they did previously at their usual place of work.

The likelihood of accomplishing more work per hour varied across industries. For example, the percentage of new teleworkers who reported doing more work per hour was relatively high in public administration (41%) and health care and social assistance (45%). In contrast, the corresponding percentage amounted to 31% in goods-producing industries.

Regardless of age, educational attainment, marital status, industry, occupation, and whether or not they have children, men and women tended to report to a similar extent being at least as productive at home as they were in the past at their usual place of work.

These findings are in line with those of a recent U.S. study (Barrero, Bloom and Davis 2020), which shows that 85% of U.S. workers report being at least as efficient at home during the COVID-19 pandemic as they were on business premises before the pandemic.

Whether the productivity assessments made by Canadian workers regarding telework match those of their employers is currently unknown.

Remote work: what we should anticipate in the future

According to Statistic Canada, almost 80% of teleworkers would like to keep at least half of their remote work hours even after the pandemic is over.

Some employers have considered a hybrid model: for example, (1) 3 days from home and 2 days from office, or (2) 2 days from home and 3 days from office, or (3) 4 days from home and 1 day from office, etc.

Some employers stated they are never planning on coming back to the in-office work environment again. For example, at Cyperᵀᴹ, a new normal reality that will be kept even when the pandemic is over is a “work from anywhere” approach. Working from anywhere opens broad opportunities that are yet to be explored and fully enjoyed by employers and employees alike.

Remote work: employers’ benefits

Hire from anywhere

With global digitalization, an extreme demand for a highly skilled workforce has already created a crisis for employers. Remote work allows companies to engage people from any region and any country and benefits from a broader and diverse pool of talents.

Scale operations faster

Remote work creates a huge opportunity for organizations to scale their operations within a very short period of time. Some of them have been considering and analysing the possible impacts of a remote work move for years. With the pandemic, they have been forced to consider instituting a remote working concept sooner than expected.

Reduce costs

Hiring from anywhere allows organizations to engage people from various locations without adding an additional budget dedicated to relocation expenses.
Organizations that have shifted to a 100% work-remote environment have experienced a positive impact on their cash flows due to reduced office rent expenses.

Retain talent

Employees tend to stay with organizations that allow them to keep a work-life balance and live where they want to live without taking into consideration their offices’ locations.

Statistic Canada, Forbes, and World Economics Forum also highlight advantages, such as increases in productivity, performance, retention, engagement and profitability as both employers and employees work from a remote location, e.g., their homes.

Remote work: how to better organize your business processes

In order to realize the benefits related to a new flexible workplace environment, companies need to consider adjusting their business processes to a “work from anywhere” reality.

Invest in equipment

Videoconferences, remote access to other computers, sending and receiving sensitive data — all these actions require the investment of equipment and software for remote users

Reinvent team building activities

Day-to-day personal interaction creates a bond between individuals that might be difficult to achieve while working remotely. Zoom team-building meetings have become the new business model for companies that work in any industry.

Invest in security training

Data exchange and remote data access must be conducted using best safety and security practices. Investment in employees’ training becomes an essential part of organizations’ yearly budgets.

Evolve a learning culture within the organization

Onboarding a new team member while working remotely requires a sophisticated approach, duly documented processes and procedures, and finally, a reliable knowledge transfer management system that is implemented by a reliable provider.

Based on the facts, statistics, and tendencies analyses, working remotely from anywhere is the new normal reality that should be considered by organizations while planning their business operations, estimating yearly budgets, and setting up human resources management systems.

About the author

Elena (Olena) Pomazanova, Cyperᵀᴹ’s President and Founder, conducted her studies in several fields crucial for successful business administration and analysis including: MSc. in Banking, MSc. in International Economics, BAC in Economics and Entrepreneurship, and MBA for Executives.

Elena worked as the Chairman of the Board of an Insurance Company and as a Deputy Chairman in Finances in an Investment Company. During her career, she has conducted a series of analyses for companies undergoing M&A and orchestrated full business processes, including automation and digital ecosystems’ setup, for organizations working in the telecommunications, insurance, metal and retail industries.

Her objectives are to ensure a sustainable digital move for Cyperᵀᴹ’s clients and to provide them with an opportunity to make sound data-driven decisions.

Elena shares valuable data-driven insights with her audience to allow organizations to make better decisions and reduce decision-fatigue-related stress.

To contact Elena, please drop a line to elena.pomazanova@cyper.ca.