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The way we work has been rapidly evolving — from spending 9 to 5 at the office-based desk before, to now working remotely from the comfort of our own homes. Nowadays, in the United States, more than 4.7 million people work remotely for at least half of their schedule, and by 2025 the number of remote employees in the U.S. is expected to reach 36 million.
Although 44 percent of companies in the world don’t allow remote work, even on a partial basis, there will be a point at which they will have to evaluate the benefits of remote work in hiring and retaining top talent as well as maximizing the employee experience for enhanced productivity.
Remote work trends
At the beginning of the pandemic, companies transferred office-based practices directly to the remote work environment. The office-centered workplace was defined by a lack of flexibility, strict schedules, and endless meetings. Not only are these practices outdated, but when transferred directly to the remote work environment they are damaging to employees’ wellbeing, with workers feeling drained by meetings, the need to be “always on”, and overall fatigue and burnout.
Remote working creates the opportunity to reimagine the workplace and to restructure how we measure productivity and success rather than limiting it to a 9-to-5 office-based presence. Let’s look at the most popular trends shaping the world of remote working.
Office-based, strict schedules have become unpopular with employees. In fact, 97 percent of employees claim that flexibility in their jobs has a positive impact on their quality of life and is also a reason to stay longer with an employer. Employees say they also want the autonomy to manage their own work schedules.
2. Communication and automation tools
Technology is the engine behind the surge in remote work opportunities. Companies need to ensure communication and information are accessible to everyone online. This involves providing tools and software that eliminate the barriers between virtual and physical workplaces and open new ways to interact and collaborate.
One of the largest challenges companies have faced since the onset of remote work is preventing the feeling of loneliness and the lack of inclusion among employees. With the use of communication tools such as Zoom or Slack, companies have begun fostering social interaction, inclusivity, and engagement to create positive team dynamics and mitigate the effects of isolation.
Another important digital trend to keep in mind is automation. With global hiring gaining importance for companies looking to stay one step ahead of their competition, leveraging platforms that automate key processes like contract generation, entity setup, onboarding, and payroll can make or break a company’s success in today’s business world. Automation tools can help organizations simplify processes, improve planning, and manage tasks promptly to save time and effort. Ultimately, this speeds up workflows to increase efficiency and, therefore, accelerates time to market and improves the employee experience.
3. Hybrid work models
As well as being fully remote, jobs are increasingly being structured as partially remote. This type of hybrid work model is preferred by 59 percent of employees, according to a study carried out by Gallup.
Employees also say they want autonomy in deciding when to work remotely and when to work in the office. It is fundamental that companies work on agreements with their employees on how best to organize hybrid work models.
4. Health and wellbeing
Remote work has highlighted the importance of employees’ health and well-being. Too many hours online and the hyperconnectivity faced by employees are causing stress and burnout.
Companies must create corporate cultures and work environments that prioritize their employees’ health by promoting work-life balance, mental health, the right to disconnect, and privacy.
5. Home office expenses
The transition to remote work was abrupt at the beginning of the pandemic. Employees had to improvise as they learned how to work from home — working from sofas or kitchen tables became the norm. However, this was not a long-term solution. Remote employees need adequate set-ups that include desks, chairs, and digital tools that allow them to perform their work in a way that supports their wellbeing.
To attract and retain top talent, it has become increasingly important to invest in providing employees with proper equipment to mirror the office space at home. This could take the form of reimbursing expenses related to work such as broadband and electricity.
6. Work from anywhere
While hybrid work models are growing in popularity, so is the work-from-anywhere arrangement. Remote employees want the chance to relocate if desired. However, companies must establish a relocation policy that communicates its rules and guidelines so there are no surprises throughout the process. Are there any locations that are off-limits? Will salary change upon relocation? Answer all of these common queries in your policy.
The flexibility to work from anywhere not only benefits employees, but also companies. Since employees do not have to work on-site, companies have the flexibility to consider implementing a global hiring strategy. Scaling to new countries no longer has to be a costly, time-consuming process — with a global employment platform, companies can start building international teams, regardless of their location, in just a few clicks.
Work, like many other factors in life, is constantly evolving. To succeed in the remote work era, it is essential to stay up to date with the latest trends and to listen actively to what employees say they need.
Globalization Partners is with you every step of the way. Our fully compliant, AI-driven Global Employment Platform™ streamlines and automates recruiting, onboarding, payroll, hiring, and HR processes. Our technology makes it easy to swiftly diversify your talent base and build international teams, all while maintaining compliance with country-specific labor and tax laws — so you can focus on keeping your workforce happy and engaged.
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