The job may be remote, but keep success close.
Three years ago, world was forced into a lockdown, and work had no choice but to go remote. How remote work changed face of business across the globe is a huge success story, and today, many organizations have comfortable retained the remote work model
— and tweaked it to a flexible hybrid model that seems to make both organizations and their employees happy.
Yet the question is still asked – ‘which is better, in-office or remote work?’
the paradox of remote work.
The verdict among employees across the globe, overall, seem to favor remote and hybrid work. The flexibility is certainly attractive for employees, and most research shows that productivity of levels working from home has not suffered in comparison with that from a physical office — if anything, remote and hybrid work seem to have a
But here is an ironical truth — while employees demand remote work, they do struggle to cope up with its demands. Remote workers are more productive not because this model boosts productivity, but because remote employees work longer hours. Burnout is a real risk, and many instances of decreasing mental well-being among workers have been reported.
communicate, communicate…and communicate.
Your company most probably has established its remote communications strategy, policies and processes. Communication is vital for remote work to succeed, so take time to know them well, and adhere to them.
Specifically, the following tips will help:
- Document more than you would normally
- Be clear, succinct and with enough context in your written communication
- Share ideas and information with your team members and supervisors
- Do not hesitate to ask for help when you are not sure.
You have a role to play in building better connect across your organization, and following the right ways to communicate will help you succeed in doing so.
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so, which is better — in-office or remote work?.
The fact is, it is no longer an ‘OR’ option – it is an ‘AND’ necessity. On the one hand, we have companies that found themselves facing the wrong end of talent retention with their forced ‘return-to-work’ mandate (remember the ‘Great Resignation’ wave?). On the other hand, we have organizations now offering remote and hybrid options as part of their talent acquisition and retention strategy.
The wiser way of looking at the situation would be to approach it not as a competition between the two work models, but as how the best of both can be integrated for all- round success.
In-office work has three distinct plus points. One, the office is both a personal and professional meeting place and provides the much-needed human connection, that we as social beings crave for (a 2022 global survey revealed that 72 percent of remote employees said they suffered from loneliness monthly). Two, it builds social capital and better leader visibility for employees — both of which are critical requirements for career growth. And three, office spaces are designed for better work output.
Remote work, on the other hand, allows employees to have better control over their schedule. If sensibly practiced, it can enable professionals to make achieve better work- life harmony, and this can positively impact their career development, health and well- being.
a flexible approach works best.
If we make balance the pivot of our approach rather than debate, it is a wider canvas of opportunity that unfolds. The best part about a hybrid approach is its flexibility in working out the extent of remote and in-office work requirements. Different organizations have different. Needs, constraints and compulsions — and the hybrid
model can be adapted to address them all.
Human connection, productivity inducing workspaces, flexibility of work, work-life balance, career-growth opportunities — all can find a place, in customized measure, in a hybrid model of work. Thus, depending on the nature of business, employees may be asked to come to office on specified or certain number of days — or offices may be kept open as co-working spaces for those who prefer to work from there. The options and possibilities are endless.
The factors that decide the choice for organizations will hinge on productivity, scope for collaboration, financial parameters, employee well-being, availability of talent, etc. But here’s the good news — at the end of the day, any model can be made to work and succeed through implementation of best practices.
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