Alex Staff Agency
Remote Work: Attitudes, Pros/Cons
Remote practices became a necessity 3 years ago. Did companies and employees change their attitude toward this working model? Did it bring any challenges? Let’s find this out.

When the COVID-19 crisis just began, most businesses had nothing to do but launch digital transformation and jump into a remote regime. For some, the process was more or less smooth, while others experienced certain challenges.

Surprisingly, after the lockdown period was over, things didn’t go back to what they used to be. At least not entirely. We’re now hearing more voices in favor of remote opportunities, although isolation is no longer obligatory. Let’s have a look at what changed for businesses and talents after experiencing a remote model in the field. This will help us understand its future and whether it’ll stay.
Companies’ Attitude

A social media management platform Buffer conducts annual surveys about remote work. This year, it has already published fresh data, reaching out to over 2 000 people.
There are lots of interesting tendencies, but the most expressive one is revealed through the question of whether businesses plan to keep remote schedules. In 2021, only 46% gave positive answers, with 38% unsure. But this year, the situation has changed: 72% claim that their companies will allow remote hours (and only 19% are not sure about that).

Benefits

  • Employees call fewer sick leaves (it decreases by 56% according to a report by Indeed)
  • Loyalty and retention increase
  • Specialists are 13% more productive
  • Companies save money on renting offices, buying equipment, etc. An average workstation costs about $15 000 per year according to a workplace consultant Abintra
  • Employers can hire from anywhere in the world and create multinational teams

Challenges

Digital transformation doesn’t come easy to every company. And the major problem here is cybersecurity. Such spheres as Forex, Banking, etc. work with valuable personal data. They invest a lot of money to make sure that information doesn't fall into the wrong hands: they store data on their own servers. Normally, access to them is only possible when you’re physically there.

But when the team is distributed and online-based, it’s easier to catch the signal and steal data. Most companies that are sensitive to security even stopped working for a couple of months when the coronavirus outbreak only started. Some key employees continued to visit the office, while others remained at home. But when it became obvious that the danger was there to stay for long, they had to adapt. For them, digital transformation is super expensive and bears lots of risks.

Another challenge is connected with asynchronous problems and time zones. The pool of candidates becomes wider when operating remotely, but the work doesn’t happen at the same time for everyone. Sometimes, businesses have to search for talents only in certain areas and set fixed working frames, which is not convenient for everyone. However, not all companies take it as a problem.

Our company has always been all-remote, and we’ve learned to use challenges to our advantage. For example, we never stick to any time zone, our clients are everywhere. Our team members are from different countries as well. We don’t support total control over our employees: freedom for self-management works perfectly for us. That trust makes everyone happy and productive.
Darina Kurganbekova
CEO in Alex Staff Agency
Employees’ Attitude

The report by Buffer also shows that talents enjoy working from home and would recommend it to others (97% of respondents). By the way, in 2021 the results were the same, so people didn’t get disappointed in such a mode. And the main reason is that there are lots of benefits.

Benefits
The flexibility of working when and from where it’s convenient is the main reason why people are happy with remote practices (67% and 62% of responders). Among other things, specialists like saving time and money on the commute to the office (59%).

They get around 51 extra minutes daily – the time most people would like to spend on sleep, sport, family, and other things. As for commute expenses, they can be very high sometimes. According to FlexJobs, one can spend from $2 000 to $5 000 per year. An additional $2 700 is required for lunches, so the cost-cutting is very impressive in some cases.

Challenges

Still, some people don’t feel comfortable working from home. Some don’t have the right equipment to connect with the team. Others have big families and too noisy environments. The issues that bother employees the most are as follows:
Inability to unplug (25%) and loneliness (20%) are the major challenges for most specialists. People want to see each other and have that coffee-break chatting to connect better. But this problem can be solved or at least minimized by introducing the right flow of regular online meetings and informal events.
We do various things to avoid remoteness between our employees: team and face-to-face meetings through video calls, etc. Work-related things are a big part of that, but we never forget about the importance of informal interactions. For example, we have a movie club, team-building games and events. This New Year, we had competitive rounds of the Jeopardy challenge. We also share jokes, memes, and discuss personal matters in our weekly Slack chat. This and many other things make the ties between our team members closer.
Evgeniya Mironova
HR specialist in Alex Staff Agency
Summing Up

Will there be more remote practices in the future? Judging by the number of bonuses for businesses and employees, they’re here to stay. Besides, the recent trends indicate the rise of a hybrid model: a couple of days in the office, the rest hours – from home. It’ll certainly mitigate some problems connected with work-from-home life (face-to-face interaction, reduced feeling of loneliness and unplugging, etc.). At the same time, employees will keep some freedom of choosing when/where to work and remain productive.

We hope this article has helped you see the impact of 3 years of remote work and whether this mode is suitable for your company. Analyze the upcoming changes and strengthen your business to use any global shifts to your advantage! Email us (sales@alexstaff.agency) if you’re looking for distributed or office specialists. We offer our vast experience at your service: check out our cases here.

*Don’t forget to read the first part of this article if you’ve missed it. It covers how businesses have managed to adapt to a new reality and offers some tips on how to better prepare a company for remote operation.
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