This is the final blog post in our series of three on the topic of remote and hybrid working. The start of the Covid-19 crisis seems like it happened a long time ago. But these past 15 months or so have caused the biggest shift in working practices in modern times. Before 2020, few companies were offering their employees work from home options. You’d see the occasional ‘hot desk’ company or the workers who logged onto coffee shop Wi-Fi for a change of scenery. Ultimately, though, remote working wasn’t common practice.
A few stats
COVID-19 changed the way we do business. Social distancing caused us to modify the way we interact. Owners are deciding how things will look in a post-pandemic world. Some business owners seem to have a “trust” issue with employees they cannot keep an eye on. Many workers and businesses don’t see a complete return to office working anytime soon.
Pre-pandemic, fewer than 20% of employees across the country worked from home.
Currently, up to 70% of employees work from home at least one day a week. And that number is expected to grow.
Surprisingly, almost 50% of businesses in the U.S. do not allow their employees to work remotely. There are many reasons for this, but the number one reason is usually this: productivity.
However, the statistics show a completely different story. Several studies came to the same conclusion; remote workers have less unproductive time, work more hours per week, and are up to 47% more productive than the workforce in the office.
Moving forward, we see more of a hybrid model taking place. Many businesses were able to downsize their office space, so they can’t bring everyone back. And, the fact is, the employees are getting used to the new arrangement. At least 50% of remote employees wish to remain remote, even after the pandemic has run its course.
The benefits of remote work
Forced to adopt the practice of remote working, many businesses call it a success. What started as a challenge has turned out to be a benefit. Most businesses are planning to keep their employees remote at least on a part-time basis.
This means companies have had to improve the performance of their networks. Their IT infrastructure has changed to be more efficient. Firms like ours have certainly played a role in this and have had a big part in improving the IT systems for businesses around the world.
Small and large companies have turned to IT firms to help them with during the pandemic. These firms can access the latest technology and offer 24-7 support. Around-the-clock support isn’t possible with in-house IT teams who work 9-to-5. But firms like our are able to monitor your technology twenty-four hours a day.
Remote working risks revealed
Of course, with such changes, companies have experienced the downsides to remote working too. With remote workers, there’s often a higher risk of cyberattacks or security breaches. IT firms have helped in this regard too. We monitor for threats, back up data, and give peace of mind that we’re always on the lookout for threats.
After the Pandemic
Many companies have enjoyed the new way of working more than they anticipated in the first place. With the experience and confidence in remote working, it is thought that many companies will strive to keep at least some aspect of remote working going forward. And it will remain even once the pandemic has ceased.
Hybrid working means different things for different companies but essentially, employees have more freedom as to their working pattern. They might be required to work in-house for one or two days a week and be at home the rest of the time, for example. There are lots of ways in which hybrid working might work but it is likely to mean that there isn’t as much need for office space in the future. With hybrid working being highly likely, we expect to see an increase in Managed IT services too.
IT firms and the hybrid workforce
Many companies had to adapt during the pandemic, but so did IT firms. It could be said that their challenge was greater in some ways, given that they had to learn and adapt quickly so that they could help their clients more efficiently.
IT firms, such as ours, were able to help companies be available for their clients with great success and have shown how they are key partners in a company’s functionality. That’s not to say that they have taken over and there is no need for in-house IT teams, quite the opposite. Their work complements that of existing in-house teams.
Conclusion – remote work in today’s world, is it for you? If you have any questions about supporting a hybrid workforce please contact us. We can help you find the perfect solution. Remember: we’re your business growth partner, so take advantage of our knowledge.