What You Need to Know About the Future of the Workplace.
The Pros, Cons, Effects and How What Jobs are Most Likely to Offer Remote or Hybrid Options.
If you were to ask yourself pre-2020, perhaps many of you would never have imagined a future where you spent the majority of your day working from your couch or your dining room table. As we are all too aware, that quickly became a reality for a considerable portion of the workforce.
Pre-pandemic, an estimated 10% of professionals were working remotely. In early 2020, that number rose steeply, reaching roughly two-thirds of all working professionals.
The way we had worked for decades and everything we thought we knew about successfully running a business suddenly changed overnight, and it became clear that it wasn't changing back anytime soon.
One of the most notable changes that the working world saw was working remotely.
Meetings became zoom calls, living rooms and bedrooms became offices, and our reliance on technology increased.
Two years later, we are seeing restrictions winding down and a new sense of norm finally forming, especially within the workplace.
As the professional world navigates the new norm, the question remains, what does the future hold?
Is the hybrid work model here to stay permanently?
According to recent data, the answer is yes, the future of the workforce will be predominantly hybrid, and it's already happening successfully.
Previously, many had the assumption that remote work led to a decrease in productivity. Still, employers were quick to learn that this was not the case because professionals are much more adaptable than we could have ever realized.
While many missed the socialization and face-to-face collaboration of being in the office, 55% of personnel reported their productivity increased once they began remote work.
With the implementation of hybrid work models, employees improved their work-life balance, increasing employee productivity and employee satisfaction.
Our team here at Linkability tends to agree with these findings, as they are (and have been even pre-pandemic) given the freedom to work remotely.
By working remotely, our team can be there when their family needs them, so when they sit down to work, they feel less stressed, as they can still meet the needs of their other obligations.
We have personally seen that quality work does not have to be produced in a typical office setting or during the standard 9-5 work hours.
Although we understand that this isn't plausible for every business situation, it is a model that we have been successfully using since Linkability's conception. We are excited to watch it work well for many other businesses.
Being forced into a lockdown taught employers to focus and capitalize on their employees' strengths while also being mindful of their families and competing priorities.
Through this, organizations could see which of their employees thrived working from home and who may benefit from a space outside their own home. In either situation, leaders have grown a greater appreciation for their employees' hard work and dedication to their company.
Armed with new information on employee strengths, leaders can take their knowledge to better serve their employees and the company.
Gone are the days when employers are "granted permission" to work from home from time to time. Instead, flexible workspaces are encouraged and favored because the professional world can now see the value of a positive and healthy employee culture that embraces an improved work-life balance on mental health and business success.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, a hybrid work model provides employees the flexibility to work both in and out of the office. Webex by Cisco said it best, "Hybrid work is about adapting to how teams work best and creating experiences that reach everyone."
Studies have shown that more than 80% of employees prefer a hybrid work model that allows them to work from home at least a quarter of the time, and 63% of high-revenue-growth companies have already enabled the option for their employees to work both on-site and remotely.
This approach confirms just how beneficial a hybrid work environment has become to our society.
According to Indeed, the advantages and disadvantages of remote work are as follows:
Pros of working from home
If you're looking for a job that allows telecommuting, there are several benefits to consider:
Improved technical skills
Improved communication skills
More work flexibility
No office distractions
Collaborate across locations
Build professional networks
Grants and incentives
Reduction in work absences
Provides more job opportunities
Provides work-life balance
Cons of working from home
In addition to its benefits, working from home can come with several drawbacks, including:
Home office costs
Risk of overworking
Risk to productivity
Distractions at home
Disproportionate work-life balance
Less face time
Suppose you're wondering what a long-term hybrid could look like. In that case, Gartner reports that there are four modes of collaboration that leaders must implement equally in their hybrid work opportunities if they want to see lasting success.
A hybrid environment must have intentional collaboration and interactions amongst employees, professionals, and leaders that produce fruitful results.
When done well, companies will reap the benefits of having happy employees, meaning less turnover and increased productivity, saving you money and increasing your profits.
These approaches include synchronous work (working together simultaneously) and asynchronous work (not working simultaneously).
· Working all together in a shared office space
· Working together through virtual meetings
· Working alone, but in a shared space
· Working alone throughout various individual spaces
The nature of hybrid work has taught us how to be intentional with our time.
When we host meetings and collaborate, whether virtually or face-to-face, organizations have found that their time together is more productive and better focused, improving productivity. This is partly because each new workday could present a different setting with different people in a hybrid situation.
By offering a variety of inclusive workspaces, you're able to meet the needs of your employees, allowing them to collaborate and work alongside their co-workers, and providing your employees the option to design their workweek in a way that works best for them their needs.
In addition, organizations that offer hybrid opportunities have a better employee pool to choose from. A flexjobs review showed that more than half of working Americans would without a doubt look for a new job opportunity if they were unable to continue remote work, compared to 11% who didn't mind one way or another.
If you are purposely looking for careers that have a high probability of working from home, Bankrate has compiled a list of the 20 best work-from-home jobs:
20 best work-from-home jobs
Computer support specialist
Marriage and family therapist
Social media specialist
Licensed insurance representative
Data entry specialist
Customer service representative
Meeting, convention, and event planner
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk
Hybrid work opportunities open an organization's ability to reach high-quality and skilled talent from professionals around the country.
Depending on the nature of the work, you can have your team (or part of your team) work remotely 100% of the time, 50% of the time, or whatever makes the most sense for your organization.
For example, at Linkability, some of our team splits their time between our office and their home while others in our teamwork solely from home.
Since we employ people from different states, we utilize virtual meeting options when necessary. We have exceptional employees who can meet their deadlines and goals efficiently without the stressors of an added commute or additional expenses, or scheduling challenges.
Having a hybrid team has helped our company grow and expand in a way that would not be possible if we were all in the office 100% of the time.
Thanks to LinkedIn's tools and resources, we have recruited highly qualified employees and attracted clients and partners from around the country and the globe.
Of course, like with anything, a hybrid team can present its challenges, but many professionals have reported that a hybrid work model can be ideal. So much so that many professionals are willing to change jobs to one that offers remote possibilities.
If we want to attract a new generation of workers and stay competitive, we must look at the statistics and adjust accordingly. By embracing a hybrid work environment, you prioritize the employee experience, improve their mental health, and ultimately advance your company.
We've outlined several data points here, but what do you think?
What are your thoughts on working remotely?
Have you seen a change in yourself or with your employees?
Positive or negative?
Has your company embraced the world of hybrid work, even as we start to get back to traditional, in-person office work?
Do you feel this is a sustainable model that we will use for years to come, or is it just a hype that will eventually die down?
The Moving Forward Newsletter is a bi-weekly advice column by Kim Peterson Stone, the CEO of Linkability.us where we give you a peek behind the curtains into what it takes to put together campaigns that help you grow your business and career on LinkedIn and in Real Life.
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