Certainly, the coronavirus pandemic has been a strong catalyst for remote work. Indeed, it provided the option for staff members to work from home while protecting them against Covid-19. However, a couple of months later in the experience; what was considered at that time as the right move is starting to be problematic.
A. Challenges of remote work.
Many employees are facing a mounting of issues with the new methodology.
Limited contact with colleagues creates a vacuum in our lives. That vacuum intrigues, and on rare occasions questions our sense of belonging. That is because a workplace is a community.
- Limited information
In the workplace, it is easier to swing by at the desk of the right staff member for the latest. Also, some critical pieces of information often vehiculated through informal channels. Sometimes, it can break or make careers. As an illustration, if a junior staff needs quick help, he can just swing by the desk of a senior and quickly get help.
Truly, most virtual meeting technologies offer great collaborative tools, but nothing replaces a physically present brainstorming session.
- Reaction time
Remote work has made it difficult for quicker emergency reactions. That is because it is challenging to just swing by a colleague’s desk with a pressing situation. Plus all the home distractions especially if you have kids, delay interventions.
- Talent development
Perhaps, this one of the biggest issues. Younger crowd needs a specific environment away from distraction to build discipline and a solid work ethic. It is not just about the output but also the non-conventional professional requirements of a work environment such as body language and cultivating relationships.
- Cyber threat
Despite enormous efforts deployed by corporations to secure infrastructures, the risk is still extremely high. Mostly, because the IT department can’t control staff household internet activities.
B. Hybrid model
Acknowledging the effect on employee mood and the risk for companies. Some companies are pushing for a hybrid model. In fact, this model would give employees the possibility to be in the office for a limited number of days. For instance, instead of 5 days a week at the office, some employees now work just 3 days a week. The rest of the weekday is finalized remotely.
Even better, in some companies, you can just show up twice a week for team meetings. This would enable staff to go over critical points. Nevertheless, what we are now experiencing is flexibility based on experience. Junior staff members are required to have some physical presence at work while the most experienced can continue working from home.
Still some companies are not having it anymore and are openly asking all employees to return to office building.
Perhaps echoing all the issues mentioned above. Still, another reason is financial. Indeed, most companies pay multi-year commercial leases with heavy investment in making office spaces appealing for staff members. It is definitely not an excellent choice to just have the facilities seating there.