During a coronavirus pandemic, the job search comes with different challenges, as does remote working.
Back in March 2020, it was tough to believe that we will be able to wave ‘sayonara’ to the ‘roaring twenties’ with the glee that would inevitably arrive on December 31. It was also hard to imagine that we would be working from home nearly a year later. However, here we are, and according to the Covid daily figures, government advice, and new studies from office workers, remote working and hiring is here to stay in some form.
Significant firms such as Google and Facebook have told workers that they do not plan to return to their workplaces until July 2021 at the earliest. Within the field of technology people are calling work from home the end of the office space as we know it. Twitter announced that employees can work from home indefinitely, becoming the first big tech company to make such an open-ended switch in policy. For the last five years, there’s been an increasing chorus of engineers, designers and professionals claiming that remote work is the future.
Remote working does come with its fair share of challenges, especially as a new hire. New hires aren’t showing up at the office to learn the ropes, make work friends and figure out how to use the coffee machine. They’re at home putting on their best Zoom face. But there is an upside to all this: the rise of remote work and fully distributed teams has been a direct response to the pains of the modern workplace and a growing desire to achieve work-life balance. Perks like extravagant offices are no match for what people truly want: flexibility.
In fact, a recent report by the Globalworkplace analytics has unveiled some interesting statistics:
Productivity — Remote workers are an average of 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts, and have measured an output increase of at least 4.4%.
Performance — With stronger autonomy via location independence, workers produce results with 40% fewer quality defects.
Engagement — Higher productivity and performance combine to create stronger engagement, or in other words, 41% lower absenteeism.
Retention — 54% of employees say they would change jobs for one that offered them more flexibility, which results in an average of 12% turnover reduction after a remote work agreement is offered.
Based on this statistical analysis, remote work is not going anywhere any time soon. Even further, companies would be wise to prioritise the “remote work revolution” as a strategy to enhance their top objectives in this new decade.
3 Reasons why you should consider a remote working opportunity:
1.Working remotely allows for better work-life balance
For many businesses, even a couple of decades ago, working remotely would have been nearly impossible. Without today’s technology, the office was usually the only place where an employee could go to do their work. The downside to these technological advances? Blurred lines between work and home life. So maintaining a healthy work-life balance is front of mind for so many employees. The ability to balance these two worlds has become the key to feeling happier and more productive while at work. Saving time that would otherwise be spent on a long commute allows employees to have a better work-life balance, and it adds hours back into your day.
2. Remote employees have more freedom
It’s clear that the advantages of remote work help to keep employees happy, engaged, and fulfilled. According to Gallup’s State of the Workplace report, ‘The optimal engagement boost occurs when employees spend [around] three to four days working off-site’. Need to visit family in another part of the country? A traditional employee would need to request time off in order to do so. But a remote employee can still clock in from home, as well as check in, as needed. From home to travelling abroad to being in the office one day a week or three, employees enjoy the freedom of remote work.
3. No geographical limitations
Remote hiring opportunities reduce the geographical barriers to work, allowing for access to firms across the world and various time zones. This could not only provide an opportunity for a more varied experience but also unleash the potential of becoming a full-time hire. Therefore, while the endeavour may be challenging it definitely is an opportunity to be seized.
People who’ve started new jobs remotely during the pandemic have stated that their experience working from home is pretty similar to what it’s like for their colleagues who knew their coworkers before coronavirus. It just requires a little more work, patience, and good humor — from both the new arrivals and the company that hires them.
The most obvious obstacle tends to be the key one: you get to deal with a lot of people you’ve never met before, and watching them on video calls doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting to know them. As a consequence, since you are losing out on establishing informal relationships and friendships miscommunication can occur more quickly. Another downside is that the in-person exchange of ideas the office plan is supposed to foster is a lot harder to replicate when you’re remote. So one solution is to simply make a point of chatting with folks before and after a meeting, just like you might in real life. Scheduling 30 minute virtual coffees with your team could be the starting point. The second solution is to over communicate to avoid miscommunication.
Codeclan’s very own new hire Euan Wilson sheds some light on being a remote hire,
“Starting via Zoom has been absolutely grand! The team has been very supportive with setting up intro calls whether that be with full departments or 1 to 1’s, telling me who I should introduce myself to, directing me to knowledge bases and help guides.Everyone’s been very inclusive and always there to help me get the information I need to do my new job! Zoom isn’t ideal but we’ll have to make use of it for now (hopefully not for much longer).”
What to consider during your remote job search?
By now you’ve seen that remote work offers increased flexibility and autonomy for employees, as well as increased worker productivity.
On the other hand, before accepting a role that includes remote work or asking your manager to allow you to work remotely in future, you should consider your own work-life boundaries.
Lockdown is a tough time for everyone for sure and asking critical questions during an interview can alleviate employee stress before it starts:
- Ask how the organisation is utilising communications tools at the minute and which ones? You want to make sure you’re not going to be left in the dark.
- What is their remote training schedule?
- Is there any scope to go into the office if you need a change of scenery? What is their remote working policy post Covid?
- Finally, just generally scope out whether the organisation comes across as being inclusive and show they’ll go above and beyond to keep you in the loop when working remotely (which should mean they’ll also be pretty good at that when you’re working in the office).
More than a mere workplace trend, the concept of working anywhere at any time is the future state of work. Technology is going to become more advanced and brings us all virtually ever closer together. It will continue to connect us as employees and businesses across time zones and continents. Though we all may not be physically in the same room, work can be just as effective, if not more so, than the traditional working model. It’s time for employers and employees alike to embrace the new world of work and to consider the benefits of working remotely. There’s no reason to put off moving to a job that could be great just because there’s a global pandemic.