Long Term Business Impact of Remote Working

The idea of employees wanting to work remotely or partially remotely began before the Covid-19 pandemic, however the pandemic forced companies to move all employees to remote and now they are challenged to bring them back.

Many companies have decided to move to remote work for the foreseeable future, others have created a flex schedule, and some are requiring people to fully come back. I am not sure what the right decision is currently, but I do think the long term impact of the full remote work will be devastating to many companies.

For employees the idea of working remote and having full control of their schedule during the day sounds great, but in reality there are a lot of missed opportunities in not interfacing face to face with colleagues and helping advance their careers.

For companies the long term challenge will be innovation/ideation, team bonding, and employee retention.

  • When people are in the same space they tend to have quick conversations (water cooler conversations) and a lot of times ideas pop out of those that then transform into business solutions or products. These same conversations are very difficult to do virtually as they require an effort to reach out and many times get lost with distraction of other things that come up.
  • Its very difficult to team bonding virtually. As someone who has tried multiple things I still don’t think anything beats being in the same space as someone else and ability to look them in the eye.
  • Employees that have started working during the pandemic in a new company that is virtual will have a difficult time understanding the company culture, build relationships with colleagues, and feel like they are part of the company. Many will feel no connection and would be fine leaving for the next job if it pays more.

I believe the best solution to solve for both the employee and business need is to provide some sort of flexible schedule where employees work a few days a week in the office with their team and have the ability to work a few days remote and do their personal errands during those days.