The global Covid pandemic changed the working world forever and the growth of remote working was undoubtedly at the heart of it all. What once started as a temporary measure that workers resisted has since become the preferred route for millions. In fact, it saw one-in-three state that they’d rather quit a job than return to the office. And businesses that integrate WFH models correctly could see major benefits too.
After all, studies have shown that remote workers are 47% more productive than their office counterparts. A contrast this large, especially given that it is backed up by several studies that have analyzed thousands of workers, cannot be attributed to luck. If the business world is evolving, the transition to WFH and hybrid working could be the catalyst for success across the US and beyond.
The Formula For Increased Productivity
It seems a little reductive to sum up this phenomenon with a simple equation. Nevertheless, it’s hard to argue the fact that happy workers plus fewer distractions equals increased productivity. While there are many contributing factors, the impact of remote working largely boils down to this.
The correlation between happiness and productivity has been shown many times over the years. For starters, it has been verified that happy workers are 13% more productive. Despite the initial fears of entering the remote environment, many workers now find themselves happier at home thanks to several key issues. Firstly, work schedules are often more flexible, thus allowing individuals to build routines that fit around other commitments. Improved work-life balances are further facilitated by the removal of commuting.
Reduced social interactions pose a risk to individual and collective worker happiness. However, this can be resolved with team-building events such as online escape rooms and arranged social activities like virtual luncheons to ensure a positive work environment. Studies show that employees are happier and more productive when they are allowed time to bond with co-workers.
Crucially, it isn’t only the distractions of other workers that are avoided by embracing WFH opportunities. The ability to compartmentalize different aspects of life while also retaining privacy surrounding personal matters is a blessing. Remote workers can turn to experts like Soyars and Morgan Law to prepare their cases for divorce, DUI, or defense hearings. Meanwhile, there is no need for colleagues to know about those private matters. Even if they are required to attend hearings or make a call to their attorney, the flexibility of remote working facilitates it without vacation requests.
The attributes of remote working allow workers to feel in greater control of their work-life balance. A change of mindset combined with increased satisfaction on a daily basis can only lead to positive results for all parties. Projects are also allowed to reach their conclusions with greater efficiency.
Autonomous Work Leads To Greater Engagement
In many traditional work settings, the issues of limited productivity are often caused by poor leadership. It is only natural that senior managers want to play an active role but micromanagement can hinder a worker’s progress. For starters, it prevents employees from showcasing the expertise and experience that they were hired for in the first place. Instead, they are forced to follow commands that often use outdated technologies and techniques. Worse still, the knowledge that things could be improved if their bosses trusted them with added responsibility makes employees disengaged. In turn, even skilled and ambitious individuals can lose their way.
Remote working encourages business owners to let workers show their initiative to overcome daily problems. Rather than suffocating a person’s creativity, bosses can focus solely on using the right tools to recruit the best candidates. A professional marketing expert, for example, will naturally understand the current landscape better than traditional decision-makers. Allowing them to prove it will often lead to increased conversions and revenue with quicker results and clearer target marketing in place. Similarly, any technician will be more educated and more engaged with their particular field than a general team leader.
Aside from providing the best results for the individual worker, the benefits spread across the firm. This is because the workers have a better understanding of how their output integrates within the wider context of the company. It translates to huge savings of time and money.
Business landscapes have become increasingly driven by results. With project management tools like HappyFox ensure that assignments reach their intended conclusion. Likewise, individual teams have clear insights into what their responsibilities and priorities are at any given time. Better still, collaborations are facilitated without unnecessarily long team meetings. Thousands of companies remain guilty of persisting with long team meetings, which are a true productivity killer. With remote working, there is no need for them. Its role as a catalyst behind increased productivity can’t be emphasized enough.
Whether bosses realize it or not, they have been forced to loosen their grip on the reins. The benefits for employees and businesses alike have been huge. Not least when concerning stress levels within the workplace. Or the digital spaces that on-site and off-site workers share.
Workers Take Matters Into Their Hands
Increased productivity during difficult times has rightly been attributed to many contributing factors. Perhaps one issue that remains underestimated, though, is the growth of the gig economy. Nearly 30% of American workers are now classified as self-employed while the community of freelancers working in the gig economy has grown significantly. This covers both home-based remote workers and digital nomads who work while traveling.
There has been a clear generational shift in which younger generations simply won’t settle. It has been underlined by the great resignation but is clear in many other ways. Essentially, once workers no longer feel valued, they will seek alternative career paths and employment offers. Given that they have a world of information at the tip of their fingers, it comes as little surprise. Savvy employees can now find vacancies or analyze what similar roles at other companies pay within seconds. When added to the easy accessibility to networking, people don’t have to stay in jobs for as long. And they don’t. Even between the ages of 18 and 24, the average person changes jobs on five occasions.
Because they are not likely to remain in jobs that make them unhappy, workers will naturally stay productive. When productivity slips, it is often because the user has become disengaged with their work. While WFH models do offer a glut of positive features, the mindset of a new generation is at the heart of this change.
It is also worth noting that any remote contractor or freelancer needs to work hard. Otherwise, their earnings will fall. Managing clients and short-term placements with platforms like FlexJobs and Upwork have become the norm for millions. In these instances, time is money and workers will stay more productive as a result. There is a reason that employers are increasingly open to hiring candidates through these methods too. As its popularity grows, expectation levels also rise. Similarly, when workers can see that colleagues and freelancers are performing at high levels, they will become inspired and competitive.
Increased productivity is also supported by the continued move towards automation and computer-assisted processes. In turn, workers can use their time more efficiently and productively to deliver great results. The entire DNA of the modern workplace has changed during the pandemic years. And while the doors to traditional setups have been reopened for some time, it’s clear that the new norm is here to stay. It is encapsulated by increased productivity for workers and businesses alike.