Employment will never be the same. Working for a company no longer comes with the pre-assumed responsibilities of commuting, maintaining collaborative, expensive office spaces, and other workplace perks. The coronavirus has made titans of industry like Facebook begin to question the way that they work. Have you seen Google’s offices? That’s just one famous example from Silicon Valley, and the tech industry is filled with incentivized, optimized company space that made countless professionals change the way that they view work. However, lavish offices across the country are soon to find themselves standing empty as the world moves towards a work-from-anywhere mindset. The age of remote work is here, but what does this mean?
Facebook Is Going Home
Mark Zuckerberg has announced that half of Facebook will be working from home by 2030 at the latest. One can see the shift in effect already. Just look at the social media giant’s reopening at 25 percent staff capacity. Other than satisfying social distancing concerns, hiring remote workers will result in a range of benefits. Adopting remote work results in lowered costs across the board. If the average company can save $11,000 per year, per employee working half the time remotely, then imagine a megalithic innovator in tech? If one considers hiring costs in the Bay Area, tech companies immediately see massive savings. Tech workers from outside of Silicon Valley are paid significantly less, and remote work tends to level the playing field for all earners in general.
Online Workers Demand New Culture
Now, the widespread company benefits may look great on the books and to investors, but remote work comes with the additional responsibility of making your staff feel valued and enabled equally, or preferably more, to working from an office. GitLab is the world’s largest billion-dollar company to operate without a single office. The DevOps giant has 1200 employees who work remotely from 67 different countries, and since 2009 they’ve been one of the world’s foremost authorities on maintaining an online workforce. Darren Murph, who heads up remote operations at GitLab, shared with Wired that companies need to work hard at making sure that remote workers feel valued. He compares blending a remote workforce with traditional employees akin to trying to mix oil and water. It’s so different that it takes an all-new approach.
The Best Remote Workers
For some, escaping the joy of company culture diminishes the worth of the entire working experience. Some of us are wired to thrive in social settings and will find it excessively difficult to adapt until replacing things like watercooler chat with online meet-ups, morning coffee on Google Meet, or Zooming a quick brainstorming session together. Squarespace determined that the personalities best suited to thriving in a remote work environment are those who exhibit higher curiosity. People who are curious and accepting of ambiguity openly (non-judgmentally, un-predisposed) and at the same time showing higher competitiveness when performance feedback on work is provided are the best remote workers. Those who show an affinity for remote work are found to be more conscientious overall. Remote work is far from a new phenomenon, and with the personal empowerment it provides when well adjusted, there are equal challenges as well.
Remote Working Challenges
Companies need to create a culture whereby employees are comfortable communicating, collaborating, and creating online. Everything being public isn’t a problem. It’s the only way to formalize coming together informally but effectively and professionally at the same time. Yet, working remotely can breed feelings of loneliness and isolation if the work environment, company culture, and personal mindset of the employee if they aren’t healthily aligned. Time management is a skill that takes time to learn, while competitiveness within the workforce seems impossible for some without a person being physically there to encourage it. We haven’t even begun to think of interns and learning from experienced execs within a physical company structure. These are all challenges which market leaders will need to navigate carefully while creating new ways to motivate, uplift, and encourage teamwork.
Technology Enabling People
The social implications of a predominantly remote workforce are clear, and the ramifications on the growth of new technologies are just as impactful. AI is exploding, trade patterns are changing, technology is more available (and cheaper) than ever. Meet-ups are skyrocketing in adoption across everything from basic video chat and conferencing to virtual and augmented reality. Technology enables economies to continue ticking despite issues affecting traditional business. Jobs are becoming independent of a specific location, thanks to years of booming globalization, and COVID-19 is speeding things up. Amidst the chaos, one thing is clear – we need to connect digitally now more than ever. Let MyOpportunity.com give you the edge that you need to find that lead, job, the right executive, perfect company contact, or professional community.