The past few years will be remembered as years of monumental shifts. Even though several aspects of our personal lives witnessed major changes, the professional side also underwent a dramatic shake-up.
Recent remote working statistics show that virtual workplaces register a significant increase in importance and desirability as 73% of departments are expected to have remote workers by 2028, and a whopping 86% of workers feel that remote work reduces their levels of stress. In addition, companies that are embracing remote work have registered 25% less employee turnover than those that don’t.
Knowing all of this, it’s rather easy to conclude that flexible working arrangements and virtual work trends will continue to grow and evolve. In the post below, we will look at virtual work trends that will shape the future.
Improving Operations With Technology
One of the main reasons certain organizations were able to easily adapt to the changing business landscape and virtual work reality was technology. Managing a team in a virtual workplace carries its own set of challenges and technology has made it easy for companies to streamline their processes, improve communication, track performance and productivity, and balance all the needs of in-office employees with remote ones.
For instance, by using employee tracker software, companies can stay on top of how employees are spending their time. This tool also helps businesses identify any issues and bottlenecks and thanks to the gathered data you can streamline work processes and make more informed decisions. Keeping track of how your remote teams spend their time is the best way to measure success and see how you can increase the level of productivity and engagement by improving the operational aspects of the remote work environment.
Putting Emphasis on Communication
The remote work model has changed the way people communicate with each other. Zoom calls and office chats have become the norm but not everyone has adapted to these changes so quickly. Regardless of how much the way you communicate with your remote workers has changed, learning how to communicate effectively must be your top priority.
Start taking notes during virtual meetings so that miscommunication is avoided. Pay attention to using the proper tone when communicating so that the recipient does not misinterpret a message. Use as many communication channels as possible but make sure that each platform is used for the right purpose.
Share generous praise and use virtual tools like Slack to discuss work tasks as well as chat. End the day with a check-out meeting where the team shares successes and mistakes that you can all learn from. From time to time, you can have virtual coffee breaks to lift team spirit. For more ideas on how to take a short break, check out Kumospace’s Virtual Events Blog.
Humanizing the Virtual Workplace
Although research has shown that remote work can greatly reduce the level of stress in employees, this type of work method has significantly affected how connected workers feel with their colleagues. Many employees in virtual workplaces have shared that they oftentimes feel isolated, demotivated, and disengaged from their teams and it is, therefore, crucial for company leaders to address this and keep their high-performing teams operating effectively.
One of the ways they can remedy this is to bring more humanity and connectedness to the virtual work environment. Putting practices like presence, empathy, awareness, and action can make remote team members feel more connected and satisfied.
To prevent them from feeling less engaged, you, as a leader, must strengthen the community. You and your team can, for example, start the day with a check-in meeting where you discuss what you focus on during the day and tasks that employees may need help with.
Be generous in sharing words of praise and use virtual tools like Slack to both discuss work tasks, but also to chat. End the day with a check-out meeting where the team shares successes and mistakes that you can all learn from. From time to time, you can hold virtual coffee breaks to lift the team spirit.
Managing Employee Well-being
Company leaders have taken notice of how the stress of working remotely can affect their employees’ mental health and well-being and have therefore recognized the importance of knowing how to support their employees in virtual workplaces.
A 2020 survey conducted by Gartner shows that 23% of employees reported better mental health when employers develop deeper relationships with them. These employers also witnessed a 21% increase in the number of high performers compared to companies that do not offer the same support to their employees. Supporting the well-being of remote workers can improve their overall quality of life, help them tackle the challenges of working remotely more efficiently, and enable them to perform much better at work.
Research also shows that companies that invest in the employee experience are twice as innovative. If you are constantly aware of how the team feels about their workplace, you can also fix problems faster.
It’s more than certain that remote work is here to stay. Keeping up with the virtual workplace trends can help us work smarter, more efficiently, and productively and show us the general direction of how to plan for the future while making sure our remote workers are satisfied and motivated.