The pandemic brought working remotely to a whole new scale. Prior to the pandemic, some businesses such as Yahoo experimented with employees working from home. After three months, the CEO of the company reported speed and quality is sacrificed when employees work from home and felt employees needed to be together to be more productive. The CEO required all remote workers to return to the office within three months or lose their job. The question lies with if offices are really that more productive than working from home.
Remote work grew over the years to over 44% specifically over the past five years and has shown that remote work environments will continue to grow, especially during the pandemic. During the pandemic, the remote work grew substantially to about 32 million Americans. Remote work prevented the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and many companies adopted the practice to help employees stay employed while staying safe.
If you work for a large corporation, large office space is needed to accommodate all the employees. With employees working from home, there is a reduction of space needed for the brick and mortar location further saving the company money. Some companies are taking steps to completely eliminate office space such as REI, selling an 8-acre campus that is no longer used. The option to work from home also helps employers reduce work-related incidents such as workman’s compensation injuries like slip and falls, falling objects, etc.
Working from home can reduce the possibility of promotion as it can be difficult for employers to see professional achievements. The employee will need to put in extra work, attention to relationships, and show a positive attitude when working from home to have a chance of promotion. Being as engaged as possible such as responding in a timely fashion to emails, participating in virtual events and keeping enthusiasm high will help achieve promotions or recognition. Employers can benefit from the tips at Simpat Tech software development company on how to best approach remote work.
Many employers looking to transfer to remote work are worried about how they can monitor employee production and ensure they are working on the clock. Although at a brick & mortar location the boss can walk right by you to ensure you are working, the same can actually be completed with employees working from home. With special business software available on the market, it is easier for employers to monitor employees. Products include tracking mouse movements, webpages visited, emails, file transfers, and keyboard strokes. There is also a file worker can download to track the employee’s location called Time Doctor, this will ensure the employee is actually at their work location. Other options to monitor employees working include taking a random screenshot of the computer screen and using a computer webcam to take pictures of the employee at their work location every 10 minutes. Time Doctor also monitors the employee if they step away from the desk, if you’re idle for a few minutes such as to go to the bathroom or kitchen, a pop up says you have 60 seconds to start working again.
Other systems that exist include InterGuard which is secretly installed into employee computers. This provides a timeline to employers of every app and website they visit. Other options employers are using are video conferencing apps such as Zoom so the employee is continually watched. Although these methods of monitoring employees may appear creepy and an invasion of privacy, it depends on the state law on what computer software can be used. The truth is if you are working in an office location, there is no privacy on your computer and you don’t have any rights to privacy.
With the advancement of technology and options for employers to monitor employees at home, save money and reduce workplace injuries, remote work does appear to be the new normal. As more businesses become more familiar with the pros of employees working from home, they are jumping on the ball to make it a reality.