For the first time, remote work is becoming the predominant way of working.
While we saw a surge of remote working during the pandemic, few thought that it would take over in-office working once a sense of normalcy resumed. However, the data suggests that by Q4 2022, more people were working remotely than on-site in fields where remote work is possible.
Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that the same data shows that hybrid work is hands-down the most popular way of working, preferred by over 50% of those in remote-friendly jobs.
What does that mean for the world of work - and, more importantly, your business?
Remote Work and the Recession
With a staggering recent prediction placing the likelihood of a recession at 64% in the US, it’s worth taking a look at the way you work under a microscope.
The recession will cause shockwaves throughout the world of work, affecting both small businesses and enterprises in equal measure. As such, it will become increasingly important to stabilize your business, cut costs where possible, and create a culture of resilience.
A group of the most significant players in big tech, including Amazon and Meta, have laid off approximately 150,000 employees in the first month of 2023. The most likely motivator behind these rounds of mass layoffs is cost-cutting in the face of what will likely be a period of sustained economic downturn.
To avoid taking such rash measures in your own business, one of the best tools at your disposal is offering work schedule flexibility.
Going forward, it’ll be critical to retain your top talent and reduce your costs. By offering remote or hybrid work, you can achieve both goals: satisfying employee demand for flexible ways of working while also cutting out expensive overheads such as offices and utility bills.
When making the transition to a remote work environment, you can use a remote worker tracking tool like Insightful for managing performance remotely and keeping everyone on the books accountable to your performance standards.
Shifting Promotion and Career Prospects
Given that many are predicting remote work will very much be a part of the future, the way you structure your business could become a huge factor in retaining talent.
As things are currently, many businesses aren’t fully equipped for remote work, which means there aren’t clear paths to promotion for employees who don’t spend a lot of time on-site. With performance more difficult to track, and new metrics on the table, it can be challenging to identify candidates for promotion.
In the face of dwindling career prospects, all but the most committed employees will start to question their role within the company and potentially look elsewhere for employment.
Denying employees real career prospects and promotion opportunities could lead to quiet quitting and dissent within the ranks. As a result, in a remote work future, it’s imperative that you change the structure of your business to reflect the new way of working.
Using remote work tracking software, you can effectively take control of the remote work environment through remote productivity tracking. By monitoring employee time data, you can evaluate performance over time.
By switching to new metrics informed by the workforce analytics data that comes from remote monitoring employees, you can reform performance management for remote workers, identify top performers, and single out candidates for raises, promotions, and performance-related bonuses.
The Emergence of New Technology
Given that remote work is on the rise, it’s logical that we’ll see a wave of new technology to support and enhance the virtual work environment experience.
There are already a wide array of digital tools at your disposal, such as:
- Project management solutions: Working in a team is far more challenging when you don’t have access to the materials, resources, and team members you need. That’s where project management solutions come in - tools featuring everything from Kanban boards to project folders enabling streamlined project progress.
- Communication tools: The further the workforce grows apart, the greater the need for effective digital communication. With tools such as Slack, teams can stay connected with all their teams, managers, and departments in one place.
- Workforce analytics platforms: To thrive in the modern world, businesses must make data-driven decisions. Remote desktop monitoring software provides a host of useful data which can be used to refine processes, manage employees, and reward good performance.
Then, there’s the elephant in the room: AI.
What can we expect from AI going forward and its potential impact on remote work?
First and foremost, AI tools such as ChatGPT will be crucial for improving operational efficiency. Capable of drawing upon a vast amount of information, even in its early stages, ChatGPT can help employees work faster and more efficiently.
Beyond that, AI machine learning can be used to enhance your remote workforce training initiatives. In the not-too-distant future, you’ll be able to harness AI to imitate dynamic interview situations, put employees’ knowledge to the test with quizzes based on company values and information, and more.
Plus, AI could also become the customer service agent of the future. Chatbots can already handle customer FAQs and redirect customers to human agents that can help them, so a few years down the line, it’s likely that you’ll be able to rely further on AI to handle customer service in your remote work environment.
Data will Drive Decision-Making
Many companies already use the wealth of data at their disposal to make key strategic decisions regarding growth, hiring and retention, and marketing campaigns.
In all likelihood, this reliance on data from remote computer monitoring software and other sources is only set to grow as we move towards a remote work future.
Because C-suite executives will have less to go on when assessing employees within their company. Say there’s a vacancy to fill within the company, and there are three candidates. In the past, you would bring each candidate into the office and review both their numbers and their status and relationships with coworkers in the office.
In the remote work future, it’s likely that all three of these candidates would be unknown to the executive. As such, the only thing the executive has to go on to make this important decision is the data - how each candidate has performed regarding output, overall productivity, and their efficiency compared to their peers.
Relying on software for monitoring computer activity, you can start to build a data hub that grows with your company and informs performance, productivity, and provides workforce analytics insights.