There have been many articles written on how the global workforce currently is and will adapt to remote and hybrid working during and after the COVID-19 pandemic where it has made social distance mandatory. Many employees feel the working from home allows them to manage family life better and have more time for other things, however others feel stifled from the diminishing boundary between work and personal life. Many employers are concerned about productivity and retention.
GitLab’s recent report on remote work has some interesting findings. There has not been extensive experience with remote working across all industries and some would say there is no how-to guidebook for such. The report noted that 56% of people surveyed had been working remotely for less than a year and 21% had up to five years’ experience, and 21% had more than five.”
When asked of employees if they want to go back to the physical office location, only a small percentage said they would like to do that. This indicates that more and more people see themselves as remote workers and would rather invest time and energy to improve their abilities so that they can adapt to the model better. With remote working becoming the future for many industries, people are also considering making major life decisions around it and choosing homes that accommodate a home-based workplace which does not necessarily mean living close to the office. Many said they are considering moving their home however there is always to concern about having to come back.
Many would consider a change in their home lifestyle completely to a prioritize nature/outdoor when it came to choosing a location for their home. Work from home also benefited people who travel as about 22% of respondents said they took advantage of remote status to move around and work from different locations, preferring the ones with a warmer climate and better community, with many liking smaller communities with local amenities.
“Ironically, in a world where so many companies have spent a lot of money on office perks like snacks and gyms, only 5% said they missed those perks.”
If employees have more time, what are they doing with it or how are they prioritizing? The study found that many respondents have been spending their free time with their family or community, prioritizing health and fitness. However, and interestingly, only abut 3-4% of employees are each prioritizing saving money and being more productive.
Employees have indicated drawbacks of work from home. When the GitLab survey asked what advice, remote workers would give to anyone considering this, the following concerns:
● Setting boundaries (25%)
● Staying focused and productive (20%)
● Protecting mental and physical health (23%)
● Putting personal priorities first (9%)
Employers are typically concerned about productivity while working from home. More than half of the employees surveyed feel that remote working improved their output. Communication and team dynamics does not seem to be a barrier especially with technology in place.
Remote working may have an impact on retention. According to the study, 74% of respondents said they are more likely to remain with their current organization because of remote work support. In the end, for this to work, you need mutual trust, a plan with performance and output metrics and technology in place to keep the operation in check.