Since curling up in our COVID-19-induced cocoons, the modern workforce has undergone a radical metamorphosis, with weekly meetings relocating to our computer screens and CDC-recommended social distance displacing closely-knit teams. As some semblance of normalcy returns, employers must think on their feet and take sides in the remote work revolution.
While some business owners have stood firm in their decisions to kickstart return-to-office initiatives, others have seesawed between Zoom-meeting-packed workdays and cubicle collaboration. Despite this ensuing tug-of-war, experts believe that remote work is a force to be reckoned with in decades to come. What once was a caterpillar caged in by mandatory quarantines, CDC orders, and twice-hourly Zoom meetings has blossomed into a butterfly of unprecedented work-life balance.
Are you hoping to escape the fluttering anxiety of uncertain times? Tune into the trailblazing remote work trends set to transform the remote office in 2021.
A growing reliance on virtual offices
Business owners are turning to a virtual office over their traditional brick-and-mortar locations. With a virtual office, remote employers can capitalize on the benefits of answering services, fax machines, and highly secure delivery services. As a bonus, customers can send mail to one primary location, and the virtual office representatives will scan it and distribute it to designated employees. Then, the employees can instruct the virtual office on the next step.
Overall, a virtual office increases productivity and decreases overhead expenses. For growing businesses, a virtual office is a win-win opportunity.
Improving productivity by appreciating off time
When employees went remote in 2020, many feared a perpetual on-call state. Despite initial hesitations, employees and employers quickly realized that employees needed to untangle their work time and personal time while navigating WFH life.
Over months of observation, employers and employees found that remote workers were more productive when they maintained limited work hours. Despite common misconceptions misleading employers, work-life balance matters for employees and employers alike.
Focusing on remote cybersecurity
Residential Wi-Fi maintains some security standards, but not to the level that businesses need. As more workers settle into WFH life, employers should supply them with robust internet security.
Offering opportunities for work-time flexibility
Besides decreasing overhead costs for budget-bound employers, remote offices enable employees to take care of children and older relatives. With this added flexibility, employees can slash caregiving costs and lighten emotional burdens simultaneously.
Fortunately, employers are beginning to give the green light money-saving flexibility by approving flexible work schedules molded around school hours.
Moving away from traditional work hours allows employees to manage their households and do their jobs, too. With employees proving they can balance work and play throughout 2020, business owners have felt more comfortable giving the stamp of approval on mid-day appointments and 3 o’clock runs to the school drop-off line.
Luckily this workplace flexibility trend shows no signs of slowing down in the remote office of 2021.
Turning to asynchronous communication
Video conferencing allowed working professionals to communicate during the lockdowns, but remote workers quickly learned they needed to limit their use of the technology. Video conferencing works well but in moderation.
Rather than continuing to force everyone to gather around the camera, businesses are turning to asynchronous meetings so that employees could access information and projects at a convenient time. In most cases, remote workers occupy various time zones, so synchronous sessions don’t always fit neatly into the schedules of every team member.
Remote work is here to stay, so innovators will continue to find new ways to revolutionize the remote office. While some modifications, like real-time documents and enterprise platforms, will prove a success, others like video conferencing might be better regulated.
With WFH-life transforming from trend to trailblazer, there’s no saying what the future holds for the remote office of future working generations.