Remote Work

In the Coronavirus Economy

Coronavirus has fully ushered in the era of remote work for so many of us. What was once theoretical for companies has become the new normal. Check out our infographic for a deep dive on the challenges, tech tips, and productivity of the new remote work economy.

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Remote Work in the Coronavirus Economy

2005-2017 saw a 159% increase in Americans working remotely ─ By the beginning of 2020, there are over 4 million people who work from home

Now with COVID-19 officially a pandemic and countries across the world encouraging social distancing and self-quarantine, more people will be working from home than ever

A New World of Work

  • Changing Environments
    • As the virus spreads, national and local governments are encouraging residents to avoid public spaces as much as possible
      • As of March 18, 2020, Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont, Louisiana, Kentucky, Connecticut, Maryland, Indiana, Rhode Island, Illinois, Ohio, California, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Washington were among the states which have closed all bars and restaurants to the public
    • Temporary Measure or More?
      • While the boom in remote work may be temporary, operating away from the traditional workplace even in the short term is going to dramatically change the tools, support, and management styles needed
    • Continuing Trends

Even before the virus, what drove more Americans towards working from home?

  • Employers say a flexible work arrangement
    • Increases morale 90%
    • Lowers operating costs 77%
    • Reduced sick days 50%
  • Remote workers are
    • More likely than the average American to be satisfied with their job 57%
    • More productive compared to a traditional workplace 65%
    • “Not stressed” or only “moderately stressed” 80%
    • Able to take better care of themselves 89%

Despite the many benefits, the transition to remote work may not be simple for many workplaces

Challenges of Remote Work

“Screens are distancing. In face-to-face communication, you are sharing a moment in time and space with someone. That is incredibly compelling for our ancient brains” – Thalia Wheatley, Psychology Professor at Dartmouth College

  • Loneliness
    • A 2016 study looked at a travel agency which had randomly assigned a small group of its staff to work from home
      • The bad
        • The employees reported feeling increasingly isolated, disconnected, and uninformed
      • The good
        • Those employees worked more, felt happier,and had lower turnover
      • Lack of Management
        • Without oversight by others, routines, processes, and time management can be difficult
          • “With nobody managing your time but yourself, it’s easy to get distracted when… challenges appear in your life” – Amber Baldwin, travel vlogger and founder of StoryChasing
        • Without presence in a physical office, managers will have to learn new ways to judge productivity, including use of video conferencing
      • Systems Overhauls
        • Employees will have to develop new habits, such as keeping documentation of work interaction and learning virtual-only communication
        • For many companies, moving to entirely remote work may mean a completely new set of processes, procedures, and systems

How can companies and employees alike make the transition to remote work, whether temporary or permanent, as easy as possible?

Tips & Tech

  • Upgrade Your WiFi
    • In 2017, the average American household had 5 connected devices 一 With students and parents now working from home, that’s enough to bog down the network
    • Tech Recommendation: Use 5 and 6 GHz networks ideal for connecting to business applications, teleconferencing, streaming, or transferring large files

Check on your ISP, too: In the wake of Covid-19, AT&T announced it was temporarily halting caps on broadband service

  • Learn Remote Coworking Etiquette
    • “Good remote workers understand the importance of communicating clearly with their team in any medium they’re using” – Greg Caplan, CEO and cofounder of Remote Year
    • Tech Recommendation: Try online collaboration platforms designed to help remote teams work together, such as Slack
  • Optimize Productivity
    • Teams which are not used to working remotely will need support to retain their efficiency and effectiveness
    • Help your team adapt and keep themselves on track with realtime analytics and reporting platforms
    • Tech Recommendation: TimeToReply, an online platform which supports and enables team production by measuring inboxes, reply time, and timed goals

During the Covid-19 economy and beyond, remote work is here ㅡ Make the most of it now.

Sources:

https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19—11-march-2020

https://www.vox.com/2020/3/6/21163362/coronavirus-covid-19-quarantine-china-italy-iran-singapore-south-korea

https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-statistics/

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/06/as-coronavirus-pandemic-spreads-demand-for-remote-work-startups-spikes/

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/best-tech-working-home-coronavirus-pandemic/story?id=69598224

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256051553_Does_Working_from_Home_Work_Evidence_from_a_Chinese_Experiment

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/flex2.t01.htm

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-creating-huge-stressful-experiment-working-home/607945/

https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-statistics/

https://www.businessinsider.com/traits-remote-worker-work-from-home-2019-9#1-remote-workers-should-prioritize-clear-communication-when-emailing-and-messaging-coworkers-1

www.timetoreply.com

https://timetoreply.com/how-to-track-email-reply-times/

https://www.peoriapublicradio.org/post/pritzker-closes-bars-restaurants-through-march-30

https://slack.com/

https://remote-how.com/guide/remote-work

https://www.businessinsider.com/working-remote-challenges-work-from-home-2019-10#problems-with-technology-may-not-get-resolved-as-quickly-as-they-would-in-the-office-and-can-make-it-difficult-to-work-remotely-1

https://time.com/5801882/coronavirus-spatial-remote-work/

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/487776-new-york-new-jersey-connecticut-set-to-close-restaurants-entertainment

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/487974-at-least-20-states-order-partial-closure-restaurants

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