A decade ago, teleworking was beginning to enter the national vocabulary. Some people worked from home 50 percent of the time or had other employment arrangements. But many businesses were still wary about letting their employees work in their pajamas from the comfort of their own homes. Today, telework is becoming more popular. During the COVID-19 pandemic, teleworking seems to be the norm. Some say that employee culture will change permanently even after the pandemic has calmed down.
Remote Workers Are More Productive
Research shows that people who work remotely accomplish more than their peers who work in the office. Although workers at home may take longer breaks, they work an average of 10 minutes longer each day than office-based employees. Remote employees also work about 17 more days per year than those who work on site.
That may be surprising. When you are home 50 percent of the time, though, you can set your own schedule and minimize distractions. You just must be self-motivated and diligent when you are home 50 percent of the time and your boss is not around.
Although these statistics are encouraging, most companies have not had a chance to implement telework until now. Seeing is believing, though. Businesses that have closed their offices due to coronavirus are noticing that they can still operate efficiently by making teleworking the norm. After the crisis is over, they may still have their workforce at home 50 percent of the time or more.
Teleworking Requires New Technology
Change can be hard to deal with. Many companies have not wanted to make telecommuting the norm because it would require changing policies and investing in new technology. Having employees stay home 50 percent of the time is a big shift.
But they have been forced to adapt to the quickly changing atmosphere during the pandemic. Many companies that never expected to run virtually are doing so more successfully than they ever expected, with most of their workforce at home 50 percent of the time or more.
Now that they have the telework technology, they will be primed to move forward with it. Coronavirus has compelled companies to get with the times and reverting to the way that it used to be would just be another potentially unwelcome change. The pandemic has encouraged companies to ask if teleworking could become the norm.
Reports Back Up the Predictions
Many executives are confirming the experts’ predictions. Three out of four of the more than 200 CFOs that responded to a recent survey said that they expect to transition 5 percent of their previously office-based workforce to a telework approach.
Some survey respondents indicated that they wanted to shift a greater percentage of its employees to a telework format or make teleworking the norm. There are several benefits to teleworking and keeping employees home 50 percent of the time or more, including cost savings for the company, access to global labor markets and enhanced employee morale.
Is Telework Becoming the Norm?
In most cases, employees need high-speed broadband internet access to work from home. That could be a problem for people in some rural areas. Broadband is not readily available in all parts of the U.S. or for every socioeconomic group. One of the challenges to making telework the norm in our country is providing adequate infrastructure.