Remote working has gained immense popularity as a byproduct of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the International Labor Organization (ILO) states that unpredictable lockdowns will affect over 2.7 billion workers or 81% of the world’s workforce. The pandemic could continue to affect the world’s economy in 2022 if governments and businesses of all sizes fail to take actionable steps.
Companies operating in 2022 and beyond have to adapt to today’s digital climate. We are living in a time where most communication, collaboration and tasks can be performed seamlessly online.
For many American-based businesses and employees, remote work was a sigh of relief during the pandemic. It is an operating model that allows employees to work from home and away from the conventional office environment. Remote working is a crucial component of the new normal and the future of work.
Pros and Cons of Remote Working
The Covid-19 pandemic and other disruptive events can pose a threat to businesses and workforces globally. That’s why it is crucial to address these existential threats strategically. Business owners and industry leaders must act mindfully and analyze the remote working concept before implementing it as a new strategy. Let us first discuss the benefits of remote working.
Pros of Remote Working
Remote working increases employees’ productivity by eliminating long commutes and reducing office distractions such as coffee breaks, long lunches, water cooler distractions, etc. According to Stanford University, remote workers overall have more productive days than office workers. Likewise, the productivity levels tend to be equal to a true full day’s work.
Mitigating operating expenses is a primary concern of almost all businesses. Thanks to remote working, companies can reduce their fixed and variable costs such as rent, utilities, computers, printing supplies, etc. Research shows that companies can save up to $11,000 per year if employees worked an average of 2.5 days per work week from home. For many small businesses, this can have a significant impact.
Remote workers tend to be happier and more satisfied because they have flexible working hours which often means more time to get a good night’s sleep, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet. Improved health and wellbeing are perks enjoyed by the remote workforce during the pandemic.
Absenteeism is one of the biggest problems faced by companies of all sizes. In some instances, employees take advantage of their freedom and can habitually be absent from their work day with little to no notice. In these types of circumstances, productivity levels can drop leaving others to pick up the slack.
On the other hand, overall remote workers have 50% less absenteeism, increasing efficiency and optimal performance. About 90% of employees believe that work from home increases morale, engagement and their productivity.
How can remote working be more eco-friendly? Reducing commutes for many means less traffic and activity on the road. This alone can reduce negative impacts on the environment by decreasing the carbon footprint and waste generation.
Cons of Remote Working
Although remote working offers many benefits, there are a few downsides.
Working from home using computers can come with high electricity access, hardware challenges and internet connectivity problems. It is pretty tricky to resolve hardware issues without a dedicated I.T. support team. Being able to leverage an independent IT consultant like Cyber Tech Connection allows you to operate daily business more efficiently.
Although remote workers communicate via phone or tools like Slack or Zoom, they miss the in-person human interactions that many of us desire. As a result, this can cause isolation that can lead to mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. If working remotely, it is important to take the time to spend quality time with friends, family and colleagues outside of work hours.
Many remote workers experience inefficient time management, leading to less organized work, tasks and projects. In some cases, Managers could assign more tasks to remote workers than they can realistically handle. As a result, the employee’s pile of work keeps piling up and this can sometimes lead to burn out.
If a remote worker does not have a dedicated workspace at home, family members can cause distractions, leading to a lack of routine, less motivation for work and reduced productivity. Remember, distractions can cause project delays and increase the risk of low job performance by the employer. It is wise to find a dedicated workspace at home and keep your business and work life separate.
Remote Working and Cybersecurity
With more people working at home, companies must implement cybersecurity protocols and protection measures because remote workers leverage internet connectivity and tools to communicate with people inside and outside their organization. Some technologies are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Companies can safeguard sensitive and confidential data to prevent it from getting into the hands of cybercriminals.
Cyber threats arise from using unsecured internet connections/networks, lack of employees’ awareness/training and ineffective security protocols on personal devices. In this case, we recommend taking the time to train each employee on your standard operating procedures and using a virtual private network (VPN) to hide sensitive data.
Using a VPN client can also mitigate the risk of data sniffing, data throttling and bandwidth throttling. Other essential factors to consider are data encryption for information confidentiality, two-factor authentication, multi-factor authentication, firewalls, antivirus programs and centralized storage locations.
Are you ready to adapt to today’s digital economy?
Remote working offers a wide range of benefits to employers and employees. The significance of working from home has increased during the pandemic and this new normal may prevail in the coming years. It’s time to adapt if you haven’t done so already.
Not only does remote working increase productivity, but it can also lead to a higher ROI due to the reduced costs and potentially higher front-line activity. However, remote working also comes with downsides. Therefore, employers should explore their options, analyze the situation and establish a strategy to get the most out of remote working.
If you are just getting started, let’s talk. We are the trusted IT security provider for many companies in various industries across the U.S. We keep your business secure while you can focus on growing it. Call us today at (800) 218-9471 or click here to schedule your complimentary consultation.