What to expect from remote working in 2023
The past few years have seen companies shifting towards more remote working arrangements. Creating convenience not only for employees but also for businesses, which has benefited them with increased productivity, reduced staff turnovers as well as presenting reduced costs.
However, times are always changing, so instead of looking to the past, this article will look at what you can expect for remote working in 2023.
Remote working has become a significant part of everyday life for many people. The growth in popularity over the last few years has stemmed from the pandemic, as most people had to work from home. When restrictions were lifted and the option to work in the office or remotely, remote working simply made sense for a lot of people.
Now that covid restrictions have eased there are new worries front and centre.
One of the main worries as of late that will play a part in remote working is ‘the energy crisis’. This year has seen a massive rise in energy bills, as well as food prices. According to studies, assuming the central heating is on, people are estimated to use 75% more gas and 25% more electricity than somebody who works in the office.
This is bound to raise worries amongst people who would previously prefer to work from home, despite the convenience and all of the many benefits that comes with it, if people can’t afford it then the simple decision is to go back to working in the office. Of course, this very same factor could encourage companies to prefer their employees to work from home, it is no doubt that office bills will also be on the rise.
The Twitter dilemma
While working from home is a preference for how some wish to work, there are businesses who prefer their employees to work in the office. A recent example of this came from Elon Musk and Twitter, who scrapped working from home, stating that “Remote work is no longer allowed, unless you have a specific exception”.
This decision and a few other demands such as employees being told to work 40 hour weeks from an office, rather than their location of choice, did not result in happy employees. This has resulted in a vast majority of Twitter employees quite simply rejecting this idea, and instead of going back to working in the office, have left their jobs to look for alternative opportunities.
While this may be considered a more extreme example due to the size and scale of Twitter, it does shine a light on people’s attitudes to companies that lack flexibility. As well as the fact that regardless of a company’s size, individuals will choose a working method that best suits them.
Hybrid working Model
As mentioned earlier, there is currently a sway in opinion on whether we should work from home or work in the office and, depending on your company, and opinions, there is a good solution for this.
Hybrid working is a mix of both remote and office work, offering the choice of where your employees work. This could mean that your average week would look pretty fluid in that department, an employee might come into the office from Monday to Wednesday, but work remotely for the rest of the week.
This has become a very popular working model as it offers flexibility to employees and companies; a great middle ground to balance home and work life.
However, it’s worth noting that this model will not work in all workplaces. An example of this would be a factory, depending on your role. If you are one of the floor workers of a factory it is highly unlikely that this work model would be offered to employees, simply due to the physicality of the job that requires the individual to be at work to perform their jobs.
Where hybrid working can work, a strategy will need to be put in place by the company to keep everything running as smoothly as possible.There are many important things for companies as well as employees wanting to enter into a hybrid working based environment need to consider.
The arguments for and against remote working
One of the main reasons why companies are against remote working is due to productivity. There is a belief that people are generally more productive in the office than they are at home, this however isn’t entirely true.
It is important to understand that people are individuals and will have their own preferred method of working that will suit them.
One study found that on average, ‘those who work from home spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive’. This shows that working from home actually has an effect when it comes to productivity.
Of course, that’s not to say this will work for everyone.
This can be one of the major challenges to having a mix of in office and remote workers. Working in the office offers great connectivity for employees, whether this be talking about their work, answering phones, or simply being able to socialise with fellow employees, all because they are all in the same location. Of course, that doesn’t mean that connection is impossible with a hybrid working model.
There’s a range of different things employers can put in place to make sure their employees keep connected. Below are a few tips on how you can keep your employees connected.
Hold regular checkup meetings
Use connecting tools
Use project management tools
There are tools in place that can help bridge the communications gap for people, it’s choosing and using the right ones in the right circumstances.
There are both benefits and drawbacks to remote working with regard to accessibility. Ensuring your office is accessible to all is very important, and the same is said for remote workin
Companies need to ensure that all employees have the same access to tools and opportunities that they would get in the office. This includes equipment; your employees may not have access to the same level of equipment at home as they do in the office, and if a company intends to implement a remote working method this is one of the areas that needs to be taken into consideration.
There can also be a few difficulties when it comes to learning. If an apprentice is learning under an employee who works from home everyday this can pose difficulties. This however, is something that can be easily remedied with communication, and as mentioned earlier, utilising a hybrid working model to suit all your employees needs.
On the other hand, in-office work can lack flexibility. People have lives outside of their work, whether they are parents, carers or struggle to commute, enabling employees to work remotely offers more opportunities for them but also for businesses. By having remote work available, businesses are opening themselves up to more talent, and gaining a more diverse workforce.
This is why opting for a hybrid working model can benefit all round, it provides the ability to have both people physically in the same room when required, while also giving the flexibility for people to choose where they work from when possible.
2023 Predictions for Remote working
2023 will see more dispersed teams. The flexibility and opportunity this presents is a benefit for both employee and employer. This mix of both home and office work is convenient and inclusive which is why it has become so popular.
Mixing the two, more companies will adopt the Hybrid working model, allowing their staff the flexibility.
Despite this, it is likely that there will be an increase in people choosing to work in the office compared to previous years, due to an increase in living costs. These concerns may encourage more people to want to work in the office to avoid having to pay extra on their bills. The Hybrid working model will shine with this change, presenting people the choice to choose what is most convenient for them. Due to this it is unlikely that everyone will be back in the office.
In order to keep connected and cater to the Hybrid working model, there will be an increase in companies using connection and project management tools.