One of the major trends
that emerged during the pandemic was a move towards remote work. Employees across the globe found themselves working from home due to necessity, but as things return to normal, many employees look set to continue to work from home for at least part of the working week. We’ve looked at the trends that will shape the future of remote work in Australia, as well as how you can ensure your remote working experience is as smooth as possible.
What is the future of remote work?
Prior to the pandemic, businesses were slowly starting to offer remote work as a possibility. However, the pandemic meant that it rapidly went from a choice to the default for many businesses, and both employees and employers discovered that it was the preferred method of working for many members of the workforce.
There are many jobs
that are suited to remote working, and while employees may return to the office in some capacity, hybrid working arrangements
are here to stay. Hybrid working arrangements are a major trend in the world of work, and this is only set to continue going forward.
A Zapier survey
found that 64% of respondents believed that remote work had made them more productive. While an office setting suits many people, for those who are quieter/more introverted, working from home removes the distractions that may naturally pop up. As time progresses, remote work will become a personal preference, giving employees the flexibility to choose how they spend their time working. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
What are the challenges of remote work?
While remote work has many benefits, it’s also not without its challenges. Going from an office environment to behind a computer screen means you’re not regularly seeing your colleagues in person, which creates a different set of challenges for both employees and employers.
It’s harder to gauge employee engagement and morale when your workforce is working from home, while employees may find it harder to raise issues/problems if they’re not able to do so in an in-person setting. If employers don’t find a way to foster a bond within their workforce, then they may see a trend of employees becoming disinterested and listless when they’re working.
Keeping on top of your responsibilities and setting goals can be difficult when you’re working from home. Remote work is often a more autonomous experience, so it suits people that are naturally self-motivated. If you’re looking to make the most of working from home, productivity apps like Jira, Asana
can help you keep track of the tasks you need to complete and the deadlines that are coming up soon. Regular check-ins with management can also help you get a better idea of what your priorities should look like when you’re setting out your tasks for each day, as well as where you can look to improve your processes.
The shift towards remote work has also meant that people who work in industries like retail, hospitality and entertainment have been negatively affected. People have become used to staying home, rather than attending events. These industries are slowly seeing people come back to physical spaces like restaurants, bars, shops and music venues, but it remains a challenge to engage these people and encourage them to spend a night out, especially when they’ve just spent all day working from home.
How to improve your remote work experience?
Working from home can be an unusual experience for many employees, especially if you’ve previously spent time in a busy office amongst your many colleagues. Whether you’re someone that’s only recently begun working from home, or you’ve been doing it for a while now, it’s important to ensure that you’re optimising your remote working experience
. Some of the things you can do to improve your WFH experience include:
- Build a routine – wake up at the same time, have breakfast, go for a walk
- Stay connected with your colleagues using programs like Slack, Zoom etc.
- Ensure you’re taking breaks – it can be easy to ignore them when no-one else is around
- Maintain a work/life balance – while you might always have access to your computer, that doesn’t mean you should be working 24/7
- Brighten up your workspace – things like lights and plants can go a long way to improving your headspace
- Separate your workspace from where you relax/sleep so your brain isn’t always in work mode
- Continue with your professional development – discuss with your manager whether online study might be beneficial
Remote work gives both employees and employers the chance to save money. Employees can save on travel costs, while employers can save on utility bills, office space rent etc. It’s also a way for employees to spend more time with their loved ones, as they’re no longer having to travel to/from the office on such a regular basis.
Whether you’re someone that’s looking to work from home for part of your working week, or 100% of the time, enjoy the remote working experience. It’s a new way of working, but one that has seen countless employees enjoy their time at work more than ever before.
Are you someone that’s entering the workforce, or you’re looking to take the next step in your career? Upskilled’s SkillsTalk blog is full of helpful tips and tricks to help you get ahead in the world of work. Visit SkillsTalk to access a wealth of articles that can help you work towards your dream career, whatever that may be!