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Thanks to COVID-19, More Companies Will Consider Remote Work in the Future

COVID-19 has upended standard business practices all over the globe. The common routine of driving to the office has halted, and remote work has taken over. As more companies make the switch, many businesses have shown they can run their operations well while managing remote employees. The option to work from home may become more prevalent for the future. 

The transition is jarring for everyone, with employers now re-evaluating their remote work policies and employees catching up. This pandemic is inducing stress and anxiety for individuals everywhere, and people must stay on top of their work among these factors.

However, the transition has been relatively smooth for many businesses. Thus, the future of remote work may suggest it is here to stay for the long run. 

The Initial Shift

In the middle of March, states began implementing stay-at-home and social distancing orders. These mandates help slow the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. The deciding factor of success for many businesses is how long these orders will last. For some smaller companies, like retail shops, remote work may not be enough. Many economies will take a hit from this pandemic. 

For the businesses fortunate enough to transition to remote work, employers will likely see a steady level of productivity overall. Though working from home may be difficult for some, it has brought certain conversations to the surface that can improve the digital workplace. 

Communication is key. Now that co-workers and employers cannot speak face to face, figuring out how to properly communicate could be a challenge. Transitioning the workplace to a completely digital landscape could pose another problem. Businesses have had to act quickly to maintain order. Employee physical and mental health are also two areas requiring additional focus. The coronavirus is a difficult time for everyone, but the workplace can act as a support system. 

The Future of Remote Work

As employees and employers adjust to the switch, they can now focus on making it permanent or at least long-term. Since 74% of companies plan to shift a portion of their workforce to be permanently remote, the previously mentioned key factors come back into play. 

Communication is the foundation for a business to run smoothly. Staff will need to work together to reassess project management, collaboration, organization and delegation. Planning and delivering work will also look different. The most effective forms of communication will make these factors efficient for adapting to remote work in the long-run. Additionally, managing a remote workforce requires a detailed strategy to keep the economy going in a post-COVID-19 world. 

A company knowledge base can help with these managerial duties. These systems are a central hub for information where employees can communicate, submit work, collaborate, store and receive data and more. With this system in place, working from home becomes easier and more feasible despite long distances. People can still tend to their responsibilities and communicate efficiently. 

Lastly, mental health is something co-workers can help each other with. Quarantines and social distancing measures are putting many people through a hard time. Ensuring employers understand that difficulty can be comforting for employees. The workplace can also be a space where employees share resources for those needing help. 

COVID-19’s Impact on Remote Work

For many, the transition will go smoothly and become second nature. Experts are uncertain how long the virus will last — it depends on how quickly researchers and scientists can develop a vaccine. During this waiting period, working from home is a necessity. 

Since businesses do not know how long the pandemic will continue, they are preparing to make remote work indefinite. As business leaders see the benefits of working from home and understand their companies can still thrive, they will make some remote positions permanent. 

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a journalist and writer interested in business technology and cloud computing. Her work has been published on Computerworld, InformationWeek and Inc.com. To read more from Kayla, please take the time to visit her blog, Productivity Bytes.

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