2020 — What we learned the year the world went remote.

As the year dredges on, the need for remote work has never been greater–and there is an even brighter future for working from home (WFH) on the horizon. After everything the workforce has learned about remote working in the past eight months, many companies plan to keep WFH options under consideration, even as the pandemic subsides.

69% are working remotely during the pandemic, with only 31% working onsite or in an office.

It’s evident that in the most significant times of uncertainty during this COVID-19 pandemic era, remote working policies were essential to companies to keep moving forward. But now that employees have learned how great it is to work remotely, WFH is becoming critical to happiness and job satisfaction across all industries.

Working remotely

 

1 in 2 people won’t return to jobs that don’t offer remote working options.

Rethinking communication and meetings in the workplace

With nearly seventy percent of workers doing their jobs remotely from their offices, dining rooms, couches, bedrooms, and even closets (15%), meetings had to change. Because of the need to meet, video conferences had to take the place of in-office meetings. 

60% of workers use video more often than before the pandemic.

The necessity for video calls couldn’t have come at a better time in the tech world, with a range of devices and software options to make video calls easier, more entertaining, personal, and productive.

79% of participants consider video meetings equally or more productive than in-person meetings.

-Based on a report from OWLLabs

2020 has shown us that people can work and be incredibly productive from virtually anywhere with the right tools, support, and devices. Nearly a third of respondents considered video conferencing more enjoyable than both teleconferencing and in-person meetings, according to a study from OwlLabs.

As newly remote employees adjust to their new WFH schedules, the desire for more structure is pertinent.

 

Working from home myths:

  • Myth: WFH is not as productive. Facts: 75% of people are just as productive or more productive while working from home since March 2020.
  • Myth: Video calls can’t replace in-person meetings. Facts: In 2020, people are using video meetings 50% more than pre-pandemic.

New remote working policies

Under the remote working era, employees are asking for flexibility. Many ask for Core Hours–four hours of availability to colleagues per day and working on their own work schedules for the remainder of the workday.

Newly remote managers have the task of supporting remote team members and promoting a healthy work-life balance via their favorite video calling software and devices.

Job-seeking workers may have an entirely new set of priorities for today’s job market. According to OWLLabs, here are the most important priorities for today’s job-seekers:

  1. Healthcare benefits
    1. Health Insurance has become a deciding factor in employment decisions. 88% consider healthcare critically important.
  2. Competitive pay
  3. Flexible working hours
    1. Workers want flexibility, work from home options, and core hours.

When the pandemic subsides, many employees are worried about the risks and hassles of returning to the office. Among these concerns are getting sick and having to wear a mask. Those surveyed were surprisingly less concerned with using public transit, public elevators, and shared workstations and devices.

Remote work offers a direct connection to employers, removal of “closed doors.”

Perhaps it was overdue, but the pandemic has ushered in a new era of professionalism. Due to video conferencing devices and software capabilities, video calls during the remote working era have broken down the barriers that previously existed between CEOs and interns, project managers and customers, and even professional athletes and their fans.

“Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.” -Plato.

Video conferencing can positively impact the entire world, all brought on by the global lockdown caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic has made us realize that the latest technology makes working–and meeting–from a distance more accessible to the average business. i.e., Renting devices like MacBook AirsiMac ProsMac Pros, Windows PCs, HD monitors, or 4K displaysiPadsSurface Tablets, and anything you need for remotely working is as easy as filling out a quote or chatting with a rep online or on the phone.

Although we’ve already seen some WFH success, remote work doesn’t come without its own set of challenges.

The struggles of managing remote employees

From management to an average employee’s perspective, remote working doesn’t come without some drawbacks.

In the era of remote work, managers are having a hard time communicating the right message with their employees.  

Those in leadership roles are faced with the unique challenge of keeping employees involved, increasing team cohesiveness, and staying engaged and on target — all from a remote setting.

60% of managers feel they are missing out on leadership opportunities and the ability to communicate company goals. 

On the other hand, recruiting and keeping remote employees is an entirely different hurdle. Companies looking to recruit or retain top job candidates will need to start offering home office setups or consider factoring in the costs of working from a home office into their compensation packages.

Only 20-25% of companies pay or share the cost of home office equipment and furniture. 

Due to the challenges brought on by COVID-19, workers have been navigating the change to working from home. But staying productive while learning a new workspace comes with its own challenges. Companies and managers need to take note of this. It’s essential to provide your workers and teams with the tools and resources to be productive and successful in a WFH environment.

Transitioning to working from home

Employees are dealing with a significant transition to a remote working environment all the same. Now tasked with completing their office work on their kitchen tables, home offices, couches, and closets, many people realize this isn’t as easy as it looks. Some of the biggest struggles reported by the new remote workforce in a report by OWLLabs were:

  • Children at home – 28%
  • More meetings – 26%
  • Unfamiliar with remote working or not set up to WFH – 26%
  • More nervous about career progression – 43% (compared to 23% in 2019)

But with having to deal with more meetings, managers constantly worry about productivity, and kids running around your makeshift office setup, what is the motivation to work from home?

From avoiding the commute to a better focus and work-life balance, here are the reasons why remote workers want to WFH — and stay WFH even after the pandemic subsides:

  • Avoiding the commute to work
  • Reducing stress
  • Avoiding illness
  • Getting to spend more time with family, better work-life balance
  • WFH increases productivity and focus

Because the average worker commutes ~40 minutes per day to work, it makes sense that removing the trip alone gives employees more time, reduces stress, and keeps them safe.

Management Teams, take note: If working from home was no longer an option after COVID-19, almost 70% of respondents would be less happy, and nearly half would look for another role that allowed remote work.

If the remote working environment changes and employees are forced to back to work, 44% of OWLLabs survey respondents said they would expect a pay increase to make up for the additional costs associated with coming into the office.

Is this the new normal? Many employees who have moved from remote work are reportedly happier and don’t want to go back to an office or onsite setting. Interestingly enough:

  • 1 in 2 people said they would move if they were able to WFH all or the majority of the time
  • 72% report being less stressed while working remotely, 77% reported a better work-life balance while WFH
  • 44% (of urban residents) would still move or consider moving if they had to take a cost of living salary adjustment or reduction.
  • On average, people are saving $479.20 per month while working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Ready or not, the WFH future is here.

With companies like Twitter, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and many more already adopting a work-from-anywhere or hybrid work environment, it’s clear that remote working is here to stay. Brought on by the novel coronavirus, what can only be described as the Work From Anywhere Movement has forever impacted the global workforce.

But we’ve learned a lot this year about ourselves, and even more about remote working and video conferencing:

  • Video calls can be effective — and personal.
  • Remote working can be even more productive than working on site when the right tools and communication are provided.
  • Employers need to have remote working options in order to continue to recruit and retain top talent.
  • Products, tools, and strategies currently in place may need to be changed to suit the new normal.

*Statistics in italics provided by a report by OWLLabs.

Remote Work Rentals with Rentacomputer.com

Tech Travel Agent Randy Moore

Are you looking to equip your remote working staff and management with the latest devices? You’ll have peace of mind in knowing Rentacomputer.com has provided remote office rentals to many companies during these difficult times. If you’re interested in having remote work devices delivered to your staff during the coronavirus outbreak, Rentacomputer.com and our Tech Travel Agents like Randy Moore can help equip your business with the necessary devices and technical support to keep the rest of the year running smoothly.

Rentacomputer.com has a large stock of equipment ready to deliver that includes laptops, HD and 4K monitors, iPads, tablets, iPhones, WiFi hotspots, video conferencing equipment, and more. Not only can we supply your rentals, but we also offer custom configuration and setup, so you know everything is in working order.

Furthermore, Randy can answer any questions you have about office equipment rentals–in any capacity, for any type of office. Contact Randy today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 225 or fill out a quick, easy online quote form. You can also connect with Randy on LinkedIn!

Subscribe to our blog today to stay up-to-date with Rentacomputer.com and follow us on social media. Join the discussion by commenting below.

*Check out our Working from home (WFH) rentals page

*While supplies last. Two-month minimum required. Minimum of (25) units per order, free shipping to one location per order. Sales tax where applicable. Rates only valid for businesses.

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