Supporting remote working will be more critical than ever in 2022
Most businesses will have introduced remote working in some form over the past two years, the mandatory work from home orders forced business leaders to rethink what the working landscape looked like.
Although businesses and their leaders have likely become more comfortable with remote working arrangements, maintaining them presents different challenges in 2022 to those encountered at the start of the pandemic.
While the initial move to remote working bought up challenges such as home set-ups and keeping morale high as people became accustomed to Zoom/online interaction, now we will face issues dealing with new trends that emerge.
In this info hub article, we will look at three critical trends that are likely to dominate remote working in 2022 and years to come. From these, leaders will need to ask themselves “what are we doing to manage these issues for the future?”.
#1 – Hybrid working
Once upon a time the default working week was Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm, working solely from the office unless prior arrangements were made. However, we have seen a massive shift due to the impact of the pandemic and now find hybrid working to be the dominant model.
The experience of working from home has left employees and employers finding many benefits from incorporating both office / home working. This hybrid models satisfies the desires of business leaders and employees alike. Businesses benefit from the cultural, collaborative, and creative advantages of having people together in one place, and on the other hand, employees keep some flexibility and space to concentrate.
But it takes work and planning to successfully implement a hybrid model, there are a lot of questions to ask yourself. How can we manage in-person activities? Do we need to make office space more tailored for collaborative work? How do we prevent silos between remote teams?
It is important processes and approaches are put in place for hybrid working, or businesses could face a number of employees looking for flexibility in roles elsewhere.
#2 – Focus on work-life balance
While there are many benefits to working remotely, the pandemic also uncovered some negative consequences. The lockdown put pressure on employees to be “always on” and an anxiety to be available 24/7 was created as restrictions stopped people from going elsewhere.
Due to the changes seen, emphasis on a healthy work-life balance has strengthened, with workers increasingly leaving jobs if this cannot be achieved. Businesses will need to put in place effective protection measures to make remote working sustainable long term. They will need to proactively prevent the boundaries between work and private life from blurring.
The way in which a work-life balance is achieved will vary from business to business, but leaders will need to question the “old” ways of structing work and how they can evolve them for the future.
#3 – Extending trust to employees
While many business leaders trust remote workers, the same cannot be said of all. According to data from a poll of more than 2,400 UK workers conducted by Opinium, 32% are now being monitored in some form by their employers.
Business leaders can undo the benefits of freedom and flexibility that remote working brings by using strict monitoring methods. This level of untrust risks alienating workers, who will begin to feel disgruntled and might decide to start looking at positions elsewhere.
Instead, leaders and managers should look to tackle this challenge creatively. This includes reimagining traditional work environments – understanding that not every person completes tasks in the same way. The evolution of hybrid working means that where, how, or even when work is completed throughout the week may differ from individual to individual.
How Elevate2 will continue to support remote working
Here at Elevate2 we continue to support hybrid-remote working throughout the business. We utilise the office space for collaborative and creative working, whilst encouraging space and time to work remotely.
We understand that an ideal work environment is not the same for every person, so we are flexible in our work environment approach.