Why Remote Work isn’t Going Anywhere According to Remote HR Consultants

Unlock the Future of Work: How Remote Work Boosts Productivity and Employee Happiness.
7 min read | by Tori Gersh
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In 2020, the pandemic stopped us in our tracks. I remember the moment I heard there was a “shelter-in-place” requirement in California. Going for a walk felt eerily like a scene from Zombieland —empty streets, but people were hungry people, hungry for…connection.

Many organizations turned to remote work to manage their workforce in the aftermath of the pandemic. And a lot worried about what that would do to our craving for connection. Years later, the question I’m hearing as a Remote Workforce Consultant from businesses worldwide is: Should we return to the traditional office setup or embrace remote work for the long haul? Which is best for business and for our employees?

As an HR consultant and Head of People for a fully-remote, global company, deeply entrenched in navigating the evolving landscape of remote workplace dynamics, I am here to address the concerns and misconceptions surrounding remote work and shed light on why it isn't just a passing trend but a transformative force here to stay. 

And, why you might want to consider ditching the hybrid or in-office models…for good. 

Many companies are grappling with the uncertainty of whether to revert to the conventional office model or continue with remote work arrangements or some combination of the two with a hybrid workforce. The main question executives are asking is how can we ensure productivity and employee engagement.

At Blend Me, as remote work specialists, our approach centers around understanding the desires and needs of both organizations and their team members. We believe that remote work is not only a viable option but also can be beneficial for businesses in numerous ways, and likely a great choice for most any organization to fully commit to (and likely to make your employees happy, engaged, and staying with you for a long time).

Remote work ushered in a paradigm shift, which we’ll explore below, empowering employees with flexibility and autonomy while fostering productivity and results-driven approaches.

Paradigm Shifts & The Data That Supports Them

1. Increased demand for flexibility.

Today's workforce values flexibility and work-life balance, leading to higher job satisfaction and retention rates. It’s about time to say goodbye to the days of water cooler talk and Jane from accounting spending a whole hour talking to you about her 3rd grandkid’s 5th-grade pool party. Today’s workforce is more focused and driven - they want to be productive, do their work, contribute to a mission they believe in, work with great people…and then disconnect and live their lives.

2. Enhanced access to talent.

Remote work enables organizations to tap into a global talent pool, fostering innovation and competitiveness. According to a survey conducted by Upwork, 32% of hiring managers predict that their workforce will be predominantly remote by 2025, highlighting the growing acceptance and adoption of remote work globally. This data point underscores the significance of remote work in providing organizations with access to a diverse and expansive talent pool, transcending geographical boundaries and traditional hiring constraints.

3. Cost savings and operational efficiency.

A remote workforce offers significant cost savings and promotes operational efficiency by reducing overhead costs and commute times. Companies can save hundreds of dollars per employee per year by transitioning to remote work and eliminating the need for office space. This estimate includes savings on rent, utilities, maintenance, and other associated overhead costs…the exact amount saved may vary depending on factors such as the size of the company, location, and industry. Instead of paying hundreds of thousands to be locked into office space rental agreements, you can spend a fraction of the cost to ensure your team has space to work via a coworking stipend, and build major brownie points with your team.

4. Resilience in the face of disruption.

Remote work proved to be a critical strategy for business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting its resilience and adaptability. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 77% of organizations reported that they were able to maintain or increase productivity with remote work, according to a survey by Gartner. This data point underscores the critical role of remote work in ensuring business continuity and highlights its resilience and adaptability in the face of unprecedented challenges.

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5. Investment in technology and infrastructure.

Organizations are investing in technology to support remote collaboration and productivity, driving innovation and efficiency. Repetitive work is now done by AI, and your team can focus on what humans are really good at, coming up with creative new ideas that truly move the needle for your clients and your company.

6. Cultural shift towards trust and empowerment.

A Remote workforce fosters a culture of trust, empowerment, and outcomes-based performance management. According to a survey conducted by Owl Labs, 83% of employees who work remotely report that they experience increased feelings of trust and empowerment from their employers. This data point underscores the positive impact of remote work on fostering a culture of trust and empowerment within organizations, highlighting the shift towards outcomes-based performance management and employee autonomy.

7. Employee well-being and work-life integration.

A Remote workforce prioritizes employee well-being and mental health, promoting work-life integration and holistic wellness. Of remote workers polled in Buffer’s State of Remote Work Report, half of remote workers report feeling more energized (48 percent) than last year, compared to 21 percent who report feeling burnt out. The trend towards more energy is likely correlated to the flexibility that allows people to prioritize themselves during their workday. 

8. Give the people what they want!

According to Buffer's report, remote work continues to be perceived positively, with 98% of respondents expressing a desire to work remotely for the rest of their careers. 98%! Let’s give the people what they want! It doesn’t take an expert to know that when you listen to your employees, they tend to stick around and be your strongest advocates — both with clients and potential new hires versus becoming zombies and creating toxic work environments where no one can be productive.

Reorienting to these new paradigms can be tough for CEOs and established executive leaders. We get it! It’s a major change! Establishing a trust-first culture is paramount to ensuring the success and well-being of remote teams. However, achieving this culture shift requires a dedicated organizational commitment and concerted efforts from leadership. 

Leaders must lead by example, demonstrating vulnerability and openness to foster trust among their teams. Transparency in policies and data is crucial, as it enables employees to feel informed and empowered in their remote work environment. Additionally, providing training to managers on how to effectively build trust with their teams is essential for creating a supportive and collaborative remote work culture. 

The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re ready to get on board with the way of work in the 21st century and to take (and keep) your team fully remote, Blend Me and our team of expert Remote Workforce Consultants, are here to help. We’d love to hear from you and set up time to talk through how we can support you in creating a remote workforce that your people truly love. More information here.

Originally Published by Tori Gersh on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 | Updated on Tuesday, May 14, 2024
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