This new normal, whereby remote work is the norm, will allow businesses to optimise their talent pool while creating more opportunities for prospective employees. Today’s enforced remote working shines a light on every business and its state of readiness for the future of work.

Yet, despite positive remote work trends, many companies are still reluctant to adopt it. Reasons could range from older leadership styles and privacy concerns to issues of trust and productivity. As a result, entire infrastructures and cultures have never been suited to support working outside of the office.

The benefits of working from home
While employing a home-based team presents some challenges, there are also benefits to the practice beyond the immediate need for social distancing. A home-based workforce saves the company money through lower overhead and reduced drain on energy resources.
Benefits also include productivity gains. Employees have the flexibility around where they work, when they work, and how they work, and they don’t feel like they’re being micromanaged. Perhaps most importantly, offering home-based work improves employee morale. People who no longer must deal with lengthy commutes have more time to devote to their families and a better work life integration.

Organisational culture impacts
Changes to working practices will also impact organisational cultures. Organisations will need to consider these implications carefully and evaluate what it means for them. For example, how will these changes impact the behaviour of staff and how things are done in the organisation? How will this impact the values of the organisation?

Show empathy
In times of uncertainty, stress levels can run high. Leaders can become overzealous and employees can overwork themselves in an attempt to prove their loyalty. That’s why it’s so important to treat this difficult transition with empathy. Understand that people are struggling for many different reasons, and the last thing they need is to feel further jeopardized.

Challenges of working remotely
Technical difficulties of remote working can be challenging – daily frustrations that are only glitches in the context of a pandemic, but that will become nuisances as the trend settles in. Getting the technology stack right won’t be easy, but the gains on the other side could be huge.

Final thoughts…
Working in the new normal will certainly be different and some impacts will be far reaching and permanent. What the past few months have shown us, is that working remotely can serve far more organisations than most leaders previously imagined.