The results after six months into the pandemic
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has led to economic, health, and social devastation, it has also created an unprecedented opportunity: to run the world's biggest-ever workplace experiment.
In February and March 2020, ultimately most technology companies moved to remote work settings. The vast majority of the global workforce was not ready for it. In most cases, new companies and startups have distributed teams usually for cost optimization, but mature businesses with a clear plan and well-structured production process build their work differently. In a recent survey, 56% of the U.S. workforce holds a compatible job (at least partially) that could allow them to work remotely.
In this report, we’ll dive deeper and share five positive and five negative consequences of the transition into the full remote workplace and how, after six months later, when emotions have calmed down.
Below are the top five positives of working from home:
There is more of a balance between work and private life
The balance between work and private life has changed. Since many companies conduct business in major metropolitan areas, it can be exhausting with traffic jams and queues in public transportation and long commutes. However, with remote work opportunities, an employee can now spend more time with their family or home life. According to our internal surveys conducted by our HR team and senior team leaders, employees are less stressed than pre-pandemic in the current situation. However, the events in the world are not contributing to this.
Focus and productivity are on the rise
The overall concentration at work has improved. Reduced stress levels due to lack of external irritants allow tasks to be performed faster with fewer errors or inaccuracies.
You pull from a larger talent pool
The expansion of geo targeted employment allows us to hire and fully integrate new employees into a team without relocating them. Distributed teams used this advantage before, but now it has become the norm and employees, who were not previously interested in remote work, started to apply for it.
Cost effective and can redistribute budgets
Save and redistribute operating budgets. Now it is possible to treat expenses in a more reasonable and business-oriented way, taking into account the global economic crisis, and to remove budgets from optional office rentals to more business-oriented ones in the current financial situation.
Diversity and inclusion
Bring diversity to the company with new cultural layers by going beyond one city or country in the recruitment process.
But of course, there were revealed obvious, but not the most evident disadvantages during this time. Below are the top five negative consequences of working from home:
It turned out that in the technological field, not everyone, who calls himself an introvert, is the introvert in reality. And this has greatly influenced people's moods in several months. Small talks in the office kitchens and coffee points are essential for the most even seemingly unsociable employees.
Not everyone has the ideal living space for remote work
Sometimes it is impossible to organize working space at home. Unfortunately, not everybody has an opportunity to organize a quiet and comfortable work place which is necessary for full concentration, and this directly affects the efficiency of employees.
Autonomy doesn’t always equal productivity
Not all people can and are ready to work in full self-organization mode. There is a psychotype of employees who need control.
Performance might be down
There is an average fall in performance levels. The fall itself happens not due to a specific reason but because of a set of factors. Each employee can have his or her characteristics that can or cannot make this work for them. One of the major problems with achievements while working from home has to do with procrastination and distractions.
It is easy to misread cues via electronic communications.
While few who work from home expressed feeling "lonely," as is typically assumed, many did point to the difficulty of getting the tone right in digital communication systems, such as email, chat, social media, and text.
Of course, it's too early to make conclusions after six months of remote work. Still, in many workplaces and for employers, especially those with 150+ employees, one can have a reasonably balanced situation with both its pros and cons. In general, we believe that technology companies can quickly move to distributed work without significant loss of quality.