• Lluís M. Ventura

Remote working: is it here to stay?

While some companies can’t wait to see their offices open again, there are many others that see an opportunity here and have started to consider remote working as a real, long-term possibility.

This is the case of Facebook, which has just announced that 50% of their workforce will be able to work from home in the next 5 to 10 years. And Twitter said it will be at 100% for them. The same has recently been announced by other tech companies like Shopify and Coinbase.

Actually, according to an internal Facebook survey, between 40 and 60 percent of their employees would be interested in doing so. Moreover, half of the company reported being at least as productive as they were before.

However, remote working is challenging and complex. It has already been a trend for the last several years, but, with the COVID-19 crisis, it has been accelerated 5-10 years ahead of schedule. Among its challenges: how to review, adapt, or continue the company culture and vision, team and cross-team sync, how to achieve the common long term goals… but also, how to hire, train, and retain junior talent?

What will the offices of the future be like? What will their purpose be? What jobs need to be face-to-face? There are a lot of pending questions yet to be defined in this whole new remote working paradigm, but undoubtedly, it’s looking pretty interesting.

Without going any further, among the most evident benefits are a vital work-life balance of the employees and potentially higher productivity and offshoring - thus happier employees overall. Additionally, the search for talent globally vs locally without the need for relocation. But there are also expense benefits such as reducing rental space, and other fixed costs such as electricity or the internet as some of the advantages companies should take into account when deciding whether remote working should be here to stay or not. Of course, the companies wishing to definitely implement remote working will have to invest in digital security and technology for their employees. But, even so, the cost-save ratio would result in a cost-benefit for companies, in most cases.

Remember that Comeet can help companies working remotely to be in sync with an easy GCalendar extension.

On the other hand, there are non-monetary aspects to face: like the team building, which should be replaced or adapted (with punctual, regular, in-person meetings or activities). Also, the end of the 9-5 working schedule that when working remotely (balancing work and family) and most likely in different timezones is a new challenge to face.

No doubt there are many companies that have realized this will follow the steps of Facebook and Twitter and readapt their way of working towards an even more digital, remote era with more freedom for their employees to work where they feel more productive.