Investing into remote work

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

co-authored with Lina Regmi

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing businesses to rethink efficient strategies for remote work. Managers who insisted that remote work would never work for their organizations have been forced to amend their working model, or rather, taking this opportunity to accelerate their digital transformation strategy.

We at Hustle Flywheel are recognizing the opportunities arising from the evolution of remote work. This diagram of the various startups eating Zoom’s lunch is an indicator of the momentum in the virtual events and communications space. We’d love to hear from companies who are building businesses along with this offline to online movement - e-commerce, remote work tools, telemedicine etc.

Remote work is becoming the new normal as businesses are implementing an indefinite work from home policy in response to the coronavirus. Canada based e-commerce giant Shopify made an announcement on Twitter that their offices will be closed until 2021 and most will permanently work remotely until they rework a new strategy. Similarly, tech’s titans Facebook, Google and others told employees that they can do their jobs remotely and should plan to do so until 2021.

Companies moving towards restructuring their workplaces with emphasis on work from home indicates that remote work is here to stay.

A recent report from Gartner states that:

  • By 2030, the demand for remote work will increase by 30% due to Generation Z fully entering the workforce. 

  • 64% of today’s professionals say they could work anywhere and remote work policies are common (in place at 71% of organizations).

Managing a team that is physically in the same building is difficult enough, but what if the part of the entire team is working remotely? It becomes an added responsibility of the manager to put everything together and establish an efficient team. Gartner notes that even amidst the global crisis, there are organizations that are reporting greater productivity and higher job satisfaction leading to profitability for their employers.

So what are the areas that the organizations should focus on when transitioning to remote work to create a productive workforce?

Stanford outlines the 3 areas that the organizations should focus on when transitioning to a remote workforce:

  1. Create a productive remote workforce - providing staff with digital tools and platforms to help them work efficiently and effectively

  2. Protect and secure company data - providing remote workers with virtual private networks, updating employees’ devices with cyber security tools and by establishing disaster recovery protocols to protect against attacks and disruptions.

  3. Train employees - on managing a digital team. Communication, project management and relationships need to be approached from a different perspective when conducted remotely.

Businesses which incorporated digital transformation early on are in a good position to continue operations during this transition, but companies that have been slow to adopt digitally minded culture have struggled through the transition. It is important that all companies start adapting to the new normal of remote working to keep their operations running.

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