State of Remote Work: Current Trends, Challenges & Solutions

Girl sitting on beach and working on her laptop

Today, going to work no longer means going into a specific office like it used to; as many countries enter a post-pandemic world, we’re seeing flexible work environments— a mix of remote and on-site working, emerge across many organizations from small-scale to large companies. Remote work trends are increasing post-pandemic period.

Employees see “flexibility” as the new norm of work, it is no longer just a perk for gig workers or freelancers or a temporary work model for work around during the pandemic. 

In fact, a recent Microsoft research between January and February 2022, which surveyed 31,102 global workers, revealed that 52% are looking to switch to a fully remote or hybrid work this year.

Now more than ever, it is crucial for companies to develop their own variations of flexible remote work options to stay competitive in retaining and attracting top talents worldwide. 

Here we share some statistics on remote work trends, its challenges, and solutions to help you make sense of flexible work.

Hybrid Work Is Here To Stay 

According to a Weforum study, employees prefer to have different work environments between three types of spaces: corporate offices, their homes, and other environments like bookable desks, meeting rooms, co-working spaces, or cafes. 

Hybrid companies are also on board with this approach: “79% of the C-suite say they will permit their staff to split their time between corporate offices and remote working if their job allows for it.”

The reality is that preference for a hybrid work model is beneficial for companies and employees alike. According to a Wework study, workers cited “better work-life balance, greater schedule control, and less stress” as the key benefits of the hybrid work model. Meanwhile, the C-suite cited that “the hybrid approach increases productivity and engagement, lowers real estate costs, and helps attract and retain talent”.

Employers are investing in workplace infrastructure changes and new technologies

According to the Owl Labs report, companies that have returned back to the office at some capacity, use their physical office space differently.  Since the pandemic, 22% of companies have reduced office space, while 21% have increased their office footprint. 

This means, that as many firms shrink their workspace, they are reinvesting in their tech infrastructure, in services or technologies that facilitate hybrid work. For companies that are increasing their footprint, they are generally investing in virtual offices,  bookable desks, meeting rooms, or co-working spaces. 

Aside from that, we see the adoption of cloud technologies accelerated. By using cloud technologies, companies can manage their operations and teams all in one place allowing increased operational efficiency, and employee productivity while reducing operational costs.

The global end-user spending on cloud services grew 6.12% in 2020 from $242.6 billion (in 2019) to $257.5 billion and is projected to grow 18.4% this year, according to a survey from Gartner Inc.

We also see the adoption of new payroll technologies such as OysterHR, Remote.com, and Deel to seamlessly hire globally from anywhere while staying on top of local compliance requirements.

The common challenges of working remotely

While remote work has a lot of obvious benefits, it still comes with its own major challenges—especially if employees don’t have access to different workspaces.  According to a Buffer survey, here are some of the common challenges of remote employees: 

  1. Not being able to unplug- Remote workers tend to work longer hours but not effectively. The study found that although the workers spent more time working remotely, their productivity fell as they spent more time attending meetings. 
  2. Difficulties with collaborations and communications- Remote work has hurt communication and collaboration threatening employee productivity and long-term innovation.
  3. Loneliness-  Remote workers feel disengaged, isolated & disconnected leading to low productivity levels and extended working hours.

Other challenges for remote employees include Distractions at home, staying motivated, and being in a different timezone than teammates.

“Productivity anywhere” enables remote workers to feel more productive and healthy

According to the 2021 Accenture survey (predictors of productivity and health), ensuring that your employees are healthy and productive yields bottom-line benefits. 

The same report found that using hybrid work environments that facilitate “productivity anywhere” are embraced by about 63% of high-revenue growth companies. While 69% of companies with negative or no growth reject the concept of hybrid work environments and prefer either onsite or just fully remote.  

According to the same survey, workers feel more productive and healthy working remotely if: 

  1. They have greater autonomy in their jobs offsite
  2. If their organizations operate with agility
  3. If they experience a strong sense of life enhancement 
  4. If they have the freedom to pursue learning opportunities on their own time
  5. If they are less reliant on their leaders 

Keep your hybrid/ remote teams productive with Wurkr

When working remotely, it’s challenging to bring distributed teams together and cultivate a healthy remote work culture. As much as we seek flexibility and autonomy at work, remote employees want to be part of the work environment that facilitates collaboration, open communication, and close team bonds. 

Wurkr can help distributed teams spontaneously communicate and collaborate from anywhere within a single virtual workspace platform.  Remote/ hybrid teams can instantly host online team meetings, online client meetings, and online recruitment to onboard new employees.

Book a call today to learn more about Wurkr and how our virtual workspace solution can help your organization improve its remote work trends, communication, spontaneous collaboration, and build a positive remote work culture .

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