Remote Productivity is Evolving - Business in a Hybrid Landscape

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Taking the deep dive in on remote work has never been more popular or successful. 

When Marissa Mayer banned remote work at Yahoo in 2013, we didn’t have Zoom, collaborative documents, or even high-speed internet. The world wasn’t quite ready. But come 2020, our digital landscape was significantly mature enough to support remote productivity outstripping in-person work. And it’s still hotting up.

 

2022 - The Year of Hybrid Work

2021 was the year when remote work went mainstream. As a twist of fate would have it, this already trending workplace enabler was thrust onto workers everywhere; a must-have during Covid-19 to ensure businesses stayed afloat.

According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work Report 2021, 45% of people were now working remotely as a direct result of Covid-19. Tech companies such as Twitter and Shopify announced during the pandemic that their companies would now be operating remotely on an ongoing basis, rather than seeking ‘a return to the new normal.’ Remote work is ongoing, and many companies have switched to 3-office days or other flexible working arrangements.

However, the top-ranking answer in Buffer’s survey for ‘What has changed the most about your work now that you work remotely?’ was ‘How I collaborate and communicate’ - at 41% of those polled. This key takeaway has been a boon for online productivity tools and solutions, with an influx trying to get ‘just the right fit’ for businesses.

 

Remote Workplace Trends to Look Out For

It’s clear that a hybrid virtual model is now the goal for many larger businesses. But the best practices for this type of working style are not yet quite ironed out.

 

“Downsides arise from the organizational norms that underpin culture and performance—ways of working, as well as standards of behaviour and interaction—that help create a common culture, generate social cohesion, and build shared trust.” 
  

Building systems, workflows, and environments that can continue to uphold company standards in a new way of working can be particularly challenging. Here are some trends and technology multipliers that can help.

 

The drop in office

“The idea of ‘the office’ will be rethought as a hub for collaboration, for celebration, and about enabling people to get together for a purpose. And when employees do choose to come in, it’s essential to have the tech there for booking in-office days, booking a desk, booking a car space and so on.” - Work from anywhere: our model for flexible working at Telstra, Telstra

While office spaces shrink to become drop-in hubs, leveraging semi-permanent workspaces shared with other companies (for cross-collaboration and ideas generation during downtimes) such as WeWork can be value-added to the business.

 

Tools that empower employees

Tools that empower employees, creating new ways of working more efficiently and effectively, are what businesses need to capitalize on the best of remote work practices. These need to be tools that reflect in-person workflows at the digital level, eliciting the same natural positive responses to in-person collaboration. These are feelings like affinity, pride, and excitement.

 

“One of the really pronounced benefits is that when you empower someone who previously thought they were unable to improve, you create an unlock moment for them.” 

 

Digital nomad standards

Another profound finding from the effects of Covid among middle-to-high-earners was the end of the love affair with cities. Rolling lockdowns have shifted people’s mindsets about what the idyllic lifestyle looks like. And it’s no longer all about coffees and cocktails with friends in a trendy inner-city laneway. We’re craving the great outdoors - beaches, mountains, and trails. And we want to be able to continue working at the same time. And why not too, if we can work remotely?

The digital nomad trend until now has focused on young solopreneurs, bouncing around the world, but since Covid hit, you can see semi-retirees running their businesses from the back of a caravan while travelling the countryside. Laptops aplenty at beachside haunts.

Businesses need the right systems in place to support people working while travelling, sometimes for extended periods of time. If you were a boss, would you prefer your employee to go on 3 weeks annual leave or go and travel while still working?

 

How To Increase Productivity While Working From Outside the Office

Only 20% of employees reported no increase in productivity when working remotely, according to a Gartner survey in 2021, with 43% of respondents indicating work hours flexibility to be the main reason for a jump in productivity. Let people work when they want, so long as they’re getting the job done. It’s a revelation!

Increasing productivity when working remotely is easy when the right tools, technology, and workflows are in place. What these tools are, depend on your business. Slack, Miro, and Figma are useful for some businesses and not quite the right fit for others. Market analysis is critical to finding the right fit products both for your technical need as well as your cultural fit.

Wippli has been built for remote work partnerships, with suppliers and clients with digital product handoffs in mind. It’s a productivity and collaboration tool like Asana, but with an overlaying focus on business relationships between partner engagements. If you think that could be just what your business needs, then make sure to sign up for early access.

 

 

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