There Is No Going Back: How to Permanently Adopt Remote Work

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Now that so many organizations have had to implement virtual work, many are considering permanently adopting it. Learn the steps you need to take to make remote work a cohesive part of your overall business.

When the pandemic hit, and companies rushed, unprepared, into working virtually, many remote work proponents felt disappointed. They worried this would set the work-from-home movement back because companies would have a bad experience.

They weren’t wrong to be worried. Businesses were not adopting the experiment under normal circumstances. They had little preparation and training, less-than-ideal tools and processes in place, and multiple distractions, including kids home from school.

Now that the qualitative and quantitative data is coming in, however, we see this unplanned experiment has been a success. Most businesses, in fact, plan to adopt remote work strategies permanently.

This guide provides a broad overview of what companies should consider if they plan to adopt remote work permanently.

The Results Are in: Remote Is a Success

Over the last month, we have helped many companies implement remote communication tools and train their workforce on how to work remotely, giving us a front-row seat to how well organizations are adapting to the change.
Here is what we are seeing and hearing from our clients:

Leaders are becoming believers, not skeptics.

Before the pandemic, most executives I spoke with dismissed the idea of remote work for many reasons.

They worried they couldn’t trust their employees to do the same amount of work. They worried about professionalism. They worried about security. They worried meetings would be ineffective. And the list goes on and on.

But we’ve seen over the last month of this rushed experiment that every company we’ve worked with would call their experience a success. Even the executive leaders of the most conservative organizations have become reluctant believers.

Teams prefer working virtual.

We saw teams quickly adapt to virtual working. We quickly witnessed workers finding new ways to manage their time, learn to stay connected virtually and find ways to be more productive. No one missed a long commute.

Many organizations that had not allowed any or limited remote work because of IT, HR, or security concerns have said they are going to have a hard time justifying not having a remote working policy going forward.

We suspect companies aren’t going to have a choice. Workers will demand the ability to work remotely, and it will be easier to find jobs that offer it as an option.

Companies must transform to digital.

“Right now, the virus seems like an accelerator for digital change that was already underway . . . the surprise has been to see the resistance to this digital change suddenly evaporate.

What organizations resisted for a decade is now core to survival and innovation. It is exciting, because this digital mindset will persist, and it is highly unlikely companies will try to return to what worked prior to the pandemic.”

– Michael Hendrix, partner and global design director, Ideo

Many companies were unprepared to become fully digital organizations. They needed to have a seamless “no-touch” digital experience with their customers and their teams needed access to their applications and data in the cloud and their processes digitized. All their workers had to function remotely with the flip of a switch.

Companies will need to transform their organization into a digital-first company to survive and thrive. The pandemic acted as a wake-up call for many organizations.

Whether it is because their experience has been positive or they’re worried about thriving in the new normal, every client we’ve worked with has said they plan to adopt remote work as a permanent part of their business operations.

To read the full article, visit Centric Consulting’s blog.