COVID-19 has turned daily life upside down. The way we shop, travel, and socialize has completely changed or halted. This is especially true for the way we work.
As you may already know, Formstack is a remote-first company and has been so for many years. More than 60% of our staff works fully remotely, and even Stackers living near an office typically work remotely a few days a week. So, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we had a system in place that allowed us to quickly adapt to the new normal. This has not been the case for many other businesses.
Over the last few months, COVID-19 has forced many organizations to abruptly adopt remote working and many myths about remote work have been busted. Over the last decade, many businesses avoided remote work because of concerns employees would be more distracted and less productive when working from home. For most employees, the transition during this time to remote work hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t meant a complete cessation of work. Even amidst a global crisis, employees are reporting higher levels of job satisfaction and productivity.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has seriously impacted the future of how we work. For example, Fast Company predicts that mobile work tools and remote platforms, such as video conferencing software or office chats, will replace in person communications more frequently. Based on a recent survey of company CFOs conducted by Gartner, many businesses will continue to have a work from home option even after COVID-19.
Remote work is preferred by many employees. In a study done by Global Workplace Analytics, 37% of employees were willing to take a pay cut in order to telecommute. But it’s unlikely that office life will disappear completely. Many employees want to be able to socialize with their team in an office during the workday. As more businesses choose to work remotely, it’s very likely that we’ll continue to see a rise in coworking spaces.
Here are the top three things we’ll likely see in the near future as telecommuting takes hold of the workforce.
1. Location will be irrelevant. Having the flexibility to work from home when you need to is clearly a top perk of remote work. Remote work also means working for the company that fits you best in the city that fits you best. You can spend your days working for a Fortune 500 company in New York from your patio in Montana.
2. A global workforce will emerge. Once an employee’s location becomes irrelevant, employers will be able to enter international markets with an international workforce. Additionally, a global recruiting plan makes it easier to hire highly-skilled roles or address foreign language needs.
3. Team leads will need to manage asynchronous communications. With team members in different states (and countries), employees will need to become more flexible to account for conflicting meeting schedules and time zone gaps. Asynchronization tools, such as Slack, and recorded video software, such as Loom or BombBomb, will be critical to keep teams on track.
If you’ve had trouble adjusting to remote work, we’ve got some resources for you. Check out our podcast, Ripple Effect. In our bonus episode, CEO Chris Byers sat down with Miranda Nicholson, Formstack’s VP of Human Resources. She shared a few key tips for adjusting to remote work that you may find helpful.