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Although COVID-19 certainly accelerated the pace at which remote working has been adopted en masse, the truth is remote working was already becoming a popular trend.
Co-work spaces, hot-desking and serviced offices, are all environments that pre-date the pandemic, and are all offered on an as-needed basis, with a growing number of digital nomads and remote workers taking advantage of these flexible solutions.
Fast-forward to the modern-day, and remote working is now the norm and widely accepted as a fixture in the mainstream.
Pre-COVID, many businesses were hesitant to allow their employees to work from home.
Some didn't trust their employees to work unsupervised, others feared a decrease in productivity, and more businesses simply were not willing to invest the time and money that it would take to implement systems that would allow for a remote work set-up.
Now, all of that has changed, as an increasing number of employees are beginning to submit timesheets from the comfort of their own homes for the hours they work rather than clocking in at the office.
Let's take a look at just some of the reasons that remote working has become the new norm.
While many businesses were beginning to embrace the idea of employees working from home from time to time or for a certain number of days of the week, the number of remote workers was nowhere near what it is today.
The COVID pandemic forced many businesses to close their doors and start operating in a remote capacity.
Because of the pandemic, many businesses had no choice but to embrace remote working and put systems in place to facilitate this new way of doing business.
When the world bounces back from this global pandemic, it's expected that many businesses will continue to allow employees to work remotely as the transition in most cases has been a huge success.
Many businesses suffered greatly during the pandemic, and have been actively seeking ways to reduce their overheads so that they can get their companies back on track.
With employees working remotely, business owners can avoid paying expensive office rent utilities, buying office furniture and equipment, and purchasing office supplies.
They can also save money on building maintenance, cleaning costs, and other costs associated with running a brick and mortar business.
In fact, many businesses are starting to realise the cost benefits of remote working, which is a cause of concern for tertiary businesses in city centres moving forward.
When your employees have more flexibility in their schedule, they will be able to get more accomplished in their time outside of work.
The time employees gain back by not having to commute to and from work can be used to focus on personal goals, spend time with family, work out, or do anything else that brings joy to your employees' lives.
When staff members are happier in their life outside the office, they will be more content and productive when they are at work.
Studies have shown that employees working from home are 40 per cent more productive and are 35 per cent more efficient than employees working in-house.
A 25 per dent decrease in office politics was also reported, creating a more positive work environment for staff.
Eighty per cent of Australian businesses that currently allow their employees to work remotely, expect the new 'working from home' model to continue long-term.
In the present day, three in ten Australian businesses permit their employees to work remotely, but that figure is expected to increase over the coming years, as more businesses embrace the advantages of remote working, and implement strategies to allow their teams to work remotely moving forward.