How Remote Work is Changing the Way we Measure Productivity
In March 2020, many companies moved their workforce to remote work. Both employers and employees started to realize new realities about their jobs. For years, we have been told that It’s essential for us to be in the office. All of a sudden, however, we are realizing that being in the office wasn’t so essential after all.
Video calls easily replaced hours of weekly in-person meetings. Manual paperwork suddenly was not an option to consider, forcing companies to accelerate their digital transformation efforts. Processes that seemed to work fine in a physical office space were suddenly dated and inefficient. Every executive or manager’s fears of remote employees watching Netflix and playing Xbox all day at home instead of working were eased.
Many employers all over the world have realized that working from home is not only more efficient, but also helpful in terms of offering a better work-life balance. According to one company interviewed by Forbes and other conducted research, working from home boosts company-wide productivity — not the other way around.
Working style after COVID-19 for businesses will never be the same. Here are the two big changes we can expect to see moving forward.
EMBRACE FLEXIBILITY TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY
30 years ago, 10 years ago or even 5 years ago, it wasn’t exactly professional for someone to take a call from the customer if they weren’t in the office. However, in the past few years, especially since March 2020, it has now become kind of a norm to be more honest and transparent about your personal life as an employee or business leader—as long as it doesn’t interfere with the quality of your service.
For example, since the beginning of the lockdown when you started to work from home, it has become increasingly common for a to hear the noise of a grinder or a screaming kid for a second or two on a conference call. That doesn’t mean the client or customer is immediately going to consider it as unprofessional, however. Rather, they will empathize more with the situation.
It’s no longer considered as unprofessional to acknowledge that we have lives outside of work. We are moving into a world where taking work calls at home, in the car or while dropping the kids off at daycare is increasingly common. It is okay that we have appointments or other commitments throughout the workday. Employees value this as well as they don’t need to “hide” or try to get around company policies just to live their lives. No more asking for time off to visit the doctor in the middle of the afternoon. Now they expect the company to trust them to manage their own schedule and get their work done before and after their appointment. Work-life balance is a term of the past now. Today, it’s all about work-life integration.
AUTOMATION IS A MUST
The boost in productivity by working from home is one thing, but automation across entire organizations is a totally different ball game. Up until the point of the pandemic, many businesses didn’t actually realize how inefficient they were. As a result of COVID, however, many people have lost and may continue to lose their jobs due to negative economic impacts.
As the workforce continues to shrink, manual tasks must be replaced with the help of automation. Front desks will continue to make up for lost personnel with an automated visitor management system. Managers will have to rely on remote employee monitoring applications instead of micromanaging every project or asking for updates with every passing hour. Manual paperwork for facility, machinery and equipment management and maintenance have to be shifted to CMMS application. Digital transformation with working from home can help your employees to be more productive and efficient. You may need fewer employees to perform the same number of tasks or will be able to eliminate or reduce overhead.
Right now, company leaders are examining their different business processes and deeply questioning themselves, wondering they how can produce the same amount of results as before, but faster, more efficiently and with a smaller workforce. As these businesses see improvements from the digitalization of one process, they will want to continue to digitalize more in the future.
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