Before the pandemic, businesses believed the only valuable work that takes place is in the office. Flexible jobs and working hours were a myth until2020when COVID-19 happened.
From small businesses to corporate giants, everyone was forced to introduce ‘work from home.’The world turned into a giant remote work experiment, but is this trend the future? Is introducing flexible working hours the genuine answer to improving employee productivity and improving mental health?
How the Impact of Remote Jobs Is Shaping its Future
Let uslook at the statistics. According to a recent survey conducted by the PwC, about 69% of Financial Services companies expect to have approximately 60% of their workforce working from home once a week after COVID. Before the pandemic, this percentage wasjust 29%.
The percentage of employees claiming that work flexibility has affected their lives positively has increased since most of the companies switched to remote working. According to a survey conducted by Grossman Group, about 48% of U.S employees currently working from home say that the shift has positively changed their views about their companies, and they would like to continue working remotely even after the pandemic.
The following are a few takeaways of what the future of flexible jobs would look like.
1. Increased Productivity
There is no doubt that flexible working hours is a blessing. You are notunder the pressure of working at set hours, and can instead work at the time of day you feel most productive. According to Chief People Officer, Peter May at Baker McKenzie law firm, productivity has generally gone up since the pandemic,because of non-existent commute times, flexible working hours, and less stressin homes.
Companies think being relaxed is the opposite of being productive.That aproductive office environment is necessary to keep everyone engaged. However, employees say that they work better when they are in a relaxed and comfortable setting.
2. Realisation of Asynchronous Communication
Many companies who had their doubts about working from home produced a working structure that proved to be more problematic than a solution. The structure included packing their work schedule with unnecessary video conferences and meetings.
Unnecessary interaction stressed employees as many were doubling their roles as caretakers of their families. Introducing flexibility in working hours induced the importance of asynchronous communication. In simple words, it means to acknowledge the fact that productive working hours are not universal.
Asynchronous communication is used by remote teams where an update or a task is assigned to teammates but they are not necessarily expected to respond at once. The adoption of asynchronous communication has offered employees work flexibility necessary for the future of remote work.
3. Performance Based Results
You may feel you are not working hard enough if you cannot stay late at the office like your colleagues. However, that has nothing to do with your productivity. Flexible jobs and remote work are encouraging companies to evaluate employees on result-based performances.
Evaluating employee’s productivity based on working hours does not reflect meeting goals. A flexible alternative is to introduce the result-based performance. Employees can focus on achieving efficiency and milestones rather than focusing on increasing their work hours.
4. Impact on Mental Health
In partnership with Mental Health America, Flexjobscollected the data of more than 800 employees on the impact of flexible jobs in relation to wellness and mental health.
According to the data, 27% of employees without flexible work hours say their mental health is poor in contrast to 17% who have flexible jobs. 44% of employees with flexible jobs say they strive for a balanced diet, while 38% say they try to stick to a healthy sleeping schedule.
If we compare to employees without flexible jobs, then 40% strive for a balanced diet while only 31% follow a healthy sleep schedule. Data comparison shows the difference in good mental health between employees with and without flexible jobs.
Flexibility in jobs helps better manage workload and stress. Remote employees take a break when they are feeling less productive and when the energy level is back, they continue with work. Managing workloads in the mentioned way allowremote employees to focus on themselves rather than being slaves to their work.
5. Improved Quality of life
Statistics show a drastic increase in the percentage of people who would like to return to working remotely after the pandemic is over. This shows that the flexibility offered by remote work is changing people’s lives positively. And it is not only quality of life, but the positiveeffects of flexibility that are changing people’s views.
According to a study shared by Harvard Business School, trust is a byproduct of flexibility and its effects are powerful regarding self-reported work performance. Another survey showed that working flexible jobs or remote working has positively impacted employees’ sentiments towards their companies.
Studies suggest that the future of remote work is bright. Companies and employees can expect to see positive changes in productivity. The benefits are undeniable, and we can expect to see a huge market shift.
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