Remote work is much more than just an opportunity to work remotely from home, coworking spaces or cafés – it also offers access to an outstanding workforce and a sustainable solution to the biggest environmental problems according to the experience of the world’s biggest remote worker recruitment platform Deel. Although many people assumed that a return to the office was inevitable after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, international surveys indicate that remote work is here to stay: 98% of remote workers assert that they would choose to work remotely for the rest of their lives, even if it was just part-time work.
Remote work is an opportunity to work from anywhere outside the office, either fully (100% remotely full time), temporarily (100% remotely, but for a fixed period) or partially (part time remotely and part time in the office). Full time, part time or short-term – the question of how to organise remote working is up to each company, but full remote working is becoming more and more popular. The main benefits are better balance between work and private life, more convenient time management, more control over your daily life and lower costs for fuel, public transport, lunch and work clothing. Remote workers do not have to allocate time to commuting to and from work, and can spend more time relaxing in the company of family and friends, thus reducing stress, and with positive benefits for mental health and well-being. A Global Workplace Analytics study shows that 75% of people would like to work remotely, because there are few distractions like office banter and noise from the open office environment.
“The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people work forever: working in a comfortable place of your choice - in a personalised office in an apartment, rural home, on an island thousands of kilometres from your employer, or anywhere else with everything you need to do your job, like a computer, power and the internet - is now the norm. Remote working gives employees a lot more control over where and how they want to work. They no longer need to change their place of residence because of their job, as remote working allows them to seek career opportunities anywhere in the world. Likewise, it is no longer necessary to subject family life to major changes simply because one or both parents have received a great job offer. Most likely, rising energy prices will only increase the popularity of remote working, allowing workers to adopt a more flexible approach to changes and the challenges of the coming winter,” says Liina Laas, Deel's Head of Expansion for Central and Eastern Europe.
Businesses too are enjoying the benefits of remote work: 83% of employers state that they have successfully negotiated the transition to remote work. Firstly, it has allowed them to choose the employees they need, because remote work means that they can hire the very best professionals not only from other regions, but also from other countries without the restrictions imposed by distance or the need for an employee to relocate and start a new life elsewhere. It also provides the opportunity to reduce employee churn by 25%, because employees are more satisfied with working procedures. In every industry, remote work can provide significant savings on the costs of running an office, as well as helping to reduce your business’s ecological footprint as it consumes fewer resources.
“Although challenges can emerge in the course of remote working including feelings of loneliness and isolation, limited opportunities to naturally build relationships with colleagues, as well as occasional technical problems for which 24/7 IT support is not available – they are greatly exceeded by the benefits for all concerned. Moreover, challenges can be resolved. Businesses that have hired employees through Deel stress that international remote working is often the only way they can recruit the workforce they need. In a globally competitive environment, a good professional can choose an employer from any country. Therefore, remote working an essential tool to address the shortage of highly skilled personnel in certain professions, and in the IT sector in particular,” stresses Liina Laas.
Remote work is still a relatively new concept, which is why it is still treated with a certain degree of caution in many places. For example, it is still widely believed that remote work reduces productivity. However, it has been demonstrated that working from home just one day a week increases productivity by 4.8%.
In order to further promote efficiency and avoid the challenges of remote work, Deel has compiled some valuable pieces of advice for employers and employees.
- To combat employee burnout, companies should draw up guidelines for remote work, which specify working hours and promote a balance between work and free time.
- The best way to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation is to encourage mutual communication, using various virtual coworking spaces where workers can get together to discuss matters unrelated to work, swap jokes and share interesting links and materials.
- To strengthen team bonding, businesses should encourage the use of collaboration tools like Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. Companies should define the purpose of each tool and develop communication guidelines that set the standard for online communication etiquette. Likewise, companies should encourage both synchronous and asynchronous communication methods, especially for teams that work in different time zones.
- If possible, employers should provide employees with IT support 24/7, along with the required tech equipment (laptops, work phones and headsets, etc.) and compensation covering additional costs for high-speed internet or virus protection software.
- To overcome various distractions at home, workers should set boundaries by informing the people around them of their working hours and routine, finding a quiet place for work such as an empty room, café or coworking space, as well as by planning breaks to find the time to answer private messages or speak to family members.
- To overcome physical tiredness that can develop into chronic health problems, employees can avail themselves of help in the form of standing desks, ergonomic chairs and desks, as well as by regularly moving about, doing exercises or taking a walk in the fresh air.