The sudden rush of the remote work pandemic in 2020 was an unprecedented experiment. That’s what I’ve learned so far.
Increasing remote operation is probably the biggest change in the way we work since the introduction of the PC in the network. However, many remain unknown.
When will the long-distance work required for a pandemic end? We do not know.
What percentage of those who now work from home will return to work in the office? We do not know.
Is working remotely together good for business? Or bad? Nobody agrees.
But I learned a lot about not only distance work, but also office work and how the business has run in recent decades. Thanks to what they have learned, companies will behave much better in the future.
Here are eight ways that distance things have improved your business, teaching you how to work better together:
1. Teams, project management tools and tasks are better than MBWA
Surprisingly, in the 21st century, most managers, department heads, team leaders, and project leaders still practice MBWA (Management Roaming), measuring employee productivity, in part, on people to see if they seem to work.
One problem: thanks to knowledge, anyone who sits at a computer seems to work, even if they shop on Amazon or post photos of cats on Facebook. Anyone looking out the window seems to relax, even if they are deeply thinking and thinking about the next million dollar idea for their company.
Some companies are experimenting with new MBWA technologies from companies such as iMonitorSoft and EfficientLab, using cameras, keyloggers and desktop capture software to ensure people are focused on tasks. This is not a recipe for retaining top talent in most cases. People do not want their companies to monitor their homes and families and many are convinced enough to look for a job elsewhere. Remote worker surveillance tools are also easy to remove.
Post-pandemic intuition is correct: it is better to focus on the work done than to guess by observation. Products such as Asana, Basecamp, Trello, Jira, Podio, Taskworld, Monday.com and others combine the monitoring of individual and team tasks focused on time to completion, rather than «I write a lot».
2. Zero trust is essential for security
The unplanned rush to remote work since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic last year has radically expanded the surface of attack for organizations around the world. Specifically, home offices tend to involve many applications on many devices used by multiple users (family members and guests) who all access the same network, sometimes sharing devices.
The zero trust security model is a remarkably good idea in these conditions. (Zero trust is an architecture in which each device, application, and user must be individually verified and authorized based on the resource accessed.)
What is also true is that zero trust is now needed in offices, even in those with strong perimeter defenses and good physical security. Large-scale remote work was needed to clarify this.
3. Living in an expensive city to access a well-paid job is a waste
One of the reasons why knowledge workers move to big cities is that, historically, there are well-paid jobs. And the cost of living is much higher on average in cities with well-paid jobs. This is especially acute in Silicon Valley, where a family making 200k lives a middle-class lifestyle, as their regular home costs $ 1.2 million, and food, gasoline, clothes, insurance and everything else costs more. much more than in the country.
What makes the most sense for everyone is that employees live where they want and that companies pay less.
It is a point of contention, as some commentators say that workers should not be «penalized» for working remotely. And this is true if distance work is part-time and employees must be a short drive from headquarters. But if people can live anywhere, in the suburbs, in small rural towns, in remote forests or, say, in Costa Rica, and still do their job, the chain of wasteful events in which employees live expensively to pay. necessary. because they live expensive etc., they can eventually be broken.
4. Remote communication tools are also better for office work.
During the pandemic, we realized that basing all face-to-face meetings was not ideal. Many of those meetings benefited those in the room, and anyone who spoke to the speaker was treated as a second-class citizen, a subsequent thought, or a burden for the meeting.
Video conferencing using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, BigBlueButton, BlueJeans, Whereby, GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx, Google Meet, and more puts everyone on an equal footing when it comes to sharing and sharing slides, documents, graphics and other content.
In the future, whether the work is remote, internal, or more likely hybrid, the meeting tools that the pandemic forced us to use will improve future meetings, now that we are all used to them.
5. Remote work is greener than office work
A new study by Alliance Virtual Offices found that, on average, each employee reduces their annual carbon footprint by about 1,800 pounds working from home. Multiplied by the number of remote employees, allowing long-distance work is one of the most powerful ways in which companies contribute to reducing greenhouse gases.
6. Office work is inefficient.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that some remote workers took advantage of the situation by landing a second remote job, working two jobs, and each employer believed they were only working one. (The «situation» I am referring to is the existence of telecommunications without the performance management systems needed to ensure productivity.) «Many say they do not work more than 40 hours a week during the two jobs combined.» the article .
To the extent that this is true and ubiquitous enough to qualify as a trend, it reveals major inefficiencies in the way work is managed and measured. It also reminds us how unproductive time employees spend preparing for work and commuting in each direction. The Alliance Virtual Offices study showed that New York employees accounted for 15.2% of the time without traveling.
7. Most business trips are unnecessary and expensive.
With the phenomenon of blocking long-distance work, business travel has been affected. Organizations around the world have realized that huge savings can be made when most business travel has been replaced by Zoom calls and other Internet-enabled interactions.
While the large decline in business travel due to the pandemic is not directly associated with long-distance work after the pandemic, tools have become mainstream, especially the new utility and habit of video conferencing, which have shown that they can replace at least some business travel. .
8. Hybrid work is better than remote work or office work.
The truth is that some people have personalities or work styles that encourage face-to-face collaboration. Other personalities long for the control and isolation of remote work. Each type thrives in one setting more than the other.
The opportunity here is for hybrid work environments, where extroverts can meet in the office and introverts can work remotely.
Everyone can use the new range of remote work tools. The right size workspace optimizes performance, improves staff retention and happiness, and improves organizational competitiveness.
The bottom line is that we do not know exactly how remote work trends will eventually evolve. But we know that the knowledge we have gained from rushing to work at a distance will dramatically improve the way the business is run in the future.