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The modern workplace is a fundamentally different place than the offices we left at the onset of COVID-19 shutdowns.
Read on to learn more about the rise of remote work, the impact it's having on workplace communication and company culture, and what can be done to help employees stay sane amidst the chaos.
For workers, the long-term impact of remote working will continue to emerge over the course of 2022 as their employers ramp up their return plans.
As these numbers continue to grow, the impact of remote work on everything — from hiring and retention to company perks, collaboration, and culture — will continue to be seen organization-wide. While more employees demand the ability to take a more active role in organizing their work schedules, businesses will also benefit from the ability to reach out globally for the talent they need.
With remote working, there is no set location for meetings, so they are held over video calls or in online tools that can be accessed from anywhere. In a hybrid workplace, planning and scheduling meetings is more complicated. It's harder to get a group of people together without having to coordinate schedules and in-person plans.
For planning out their office-based workdays, employees might need answers to questions like:
Look for a dedicated workplace experience solution that integrates with your employees' work calendar, so people can book rooms and desk as they add events to their calendar. Teem's room scheduling software, for instance, works with your existing tech so it's easier for employees to plan for the week ahead. Plus, it's also really helpful for visualizing where the space is located in the office, so they know where they'll be in relation to their other scheduled meetings and reserved spaces.
As we mentioned earlier, most indications seem to support the notion that the many companies plan on splitting employees' time between remote and on-site workdays, depending on the specific requirements of their role and how the company has chosen to approach their post-pandemic real estate strategy.
Over time, the number of companies offering remote working as an option for their employees is only expected to grow.
That's good news for employees, considering:
In many ways, remote work helps with employee retention by providing a flexible schedule that allows workers to balance their professional and personal lives. The ability to set one's own schedule, in turn, can help increase productivity and job satisfaction — two crucial factors for retaining top talent.
Online or in-person communication? Communicating in real time or asynchronously?
Remote work arrangements have had a complicated impact when it comes to how teams communicate these days. Regardless of where they're spending their time, remote workers typically need access to online chat tools like Slack for communicating with colleagues and managers. That way, whether they're working down the hall from one another or from a different location than everyone else — communication doesn't break down due to the physical distance between them and their team members.
But research shows some of the key staples of a remote work arrangement may also be adding to employee burnout and digital overload. For instance, a Microsoft study in 2021 found workers are dealing with a higher number of meetings, emails, and chat messages. With a constant stream of notifications piling up and coming in through multiple channels, it's no surprise people say the rise in online communication is contributing to their feelings of being overworked and overwhelmed.
(If employee burnout is a concern, get ahead of it! Find helpful tips and creative ideas for combatting employee burnout in our e-book The New Rules of Employee Happiness.)
While in some ways, these tools have made internal communications easier — at least in terms of being able to instantly send and receive communication— they've also been adding new challenges to the mix.
There are many pros and cons of hybrid work and remote work, which poses challenges for management. For example, when employees are constantly working remotely, it is sometimes more difficult to keep track of their team's schedule and ensure that individual employees are meeting deadlines.
One-on-one communication with employees is more critical for remote working than ever before, so managers have had to focus on how they communicate with their teams when some people are working remotely and others are on-site. After all, an increase in the number of employees working remotely means there will be a decrease in face-to-face interactions between managers and their team members.
Plus, the lack of in-person interaction can make it more difficult for employees to build rapport with each other and with their supervisors. This can negatively impact the employee's work relationships and overall job satisfaction.
Employees need consistent feedback from their managers and leaders in order to feel valued and appreciated.
Remote work arrangements can be complex, involving a variety of different locations and setups.
Because of the two-year experiment with remote working, conventional ideas about where and how work happens have been flipped on their heads. Traditional work arrangements are going extinct, at least by most estimates.
Workplaces should function differently than they used to. So, focus on meeting people's needs and your company's goals where they are now — not where they were before.
These days, people are also more accustomed to being in charge of where and how they get work done. It's not just millennial and Gen-Z workers — who grew up with technology at their fingertips — employees from all generations are embracing new workplace tech.
In a hybrid workplace, employees will regularly need to know things such as:
There's no doubt that remote work has been a major reason for accelerating digital transformation efforts and high end-user adoption rates. (See how Teem helps employees take back control of their workday.)
Now that they've been given a bigger budget, IT leaders plan to keep the momentum going. This means focusing on what works best for employees. In our survey of over 300 IT leaders, we found that one of their biggest priorities will be finding solutions that are user-friendly and will be easy for their team to set up and manage.
Another impact of remote working will be a wide degree of variability in office-based attendance.
Some hybrid and remote workers travel between multiple locations throughout their work week, while others may spend their entire week at home or alternate their locations between home, co-working space, and company headquarters.
You don't want to have too much space sitting empty, but you also don't want demand to be greater than availability. And sharing limited resources gets tricky in a remote and hybrid workplace, too. Any mismatch between supply and demand is likely to cause frustration and lead to a negative in-office experience.
Did you know we have a full library of resources you can access anytime?
Not sure where to start?
Try this podcast: Two Years Later — A Workplace Strategy Update for 2022 with Arnold Levin of Gensler.
Why you'll like it: Mike gets an exciting update to our most-downloaded interview of 2020. Plus, you can go back and hear the original conversation — which was so full of insight we decided to split it into a two-part series, Going Beyond Industry Trends & Physical Design Part One and Part Two. Both were released in early 2020, right before the pandemic changed everything.
Bonus: The full recording of the 2022 discussion is also available to watch on demand.
Don't miss the next conversation! There's still time to register for our Expert Roundtable: Getting Serious About Well-being at Work.
News, tips, and product updates.
Subscribe to Teem’s blog today.