With the global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus now waning, millions of people are returning to the office. During this period many companies allowed employees to continue to work from home. However, there are companies that have now made work from home policies permanent. This is a new approach to work that has not been seen since the advent of the Industrial Revolution. The reasons are manifold:
- In an increasingly busy lifestyle; workers are more able to enjoy the work-life balance when working from home.
- The time that is saved from a reduced commute has additional benefits including the costs for fuel to get into and out of work.
- Firms can achieve cost savings by giving up office space and other perks that often accompany that. As an example, IBM has saved over $100 million annually in-office snacks alone by allowing many of its employees to work from home.
Video Conferencing Made It Possible
Software in the area of video conferencing has made the push toward remote work viable. Besides being able to talk with other co-workers over video, the software enables access to the other person’s PC, along with direct screen sharing. A team could also use instant message functions to communicate within groups. Within a virtual meeting, a user could show a presentation or write on a whiteboard as well as share documents in the office. These functions were all available in part or in whole prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, but with the growth seen by video conferencing software producers, these products matured and these features were all integrated into a single product.
Going Green As A Goal With Video Conferencing
One of the reasons that remote work is attractive to many companies is the push to reduce their company’s carbon-footprint. Large corporations that have many workers staying home when working, do not put millions of miles worth of emissions on the roads from vehicles that are driven. They do not have to construct large offices in industrial complexes. One example is Microsoft Corporation whose goal is to have a zero-carbon footprint by 2030. They even plan through extensive planning to reclaim the amount carbon footprint consumed throughout the history of Microsoft (c.1975) by the year 2050. Microsoft will certainly achieve this goal if for no other reason than they have marketed their product Teams as one of the most beneficial and complete enterprise productivity and communication tools. Leaders within the ecological “green movement” are intending to make certain that companies live up to the goals and expectations they have made for themselves and others. Microsoft sees the key to reaching this goal is by allowing many of their employees to work from home at least two days per week and possibly more depending on the role and responsibilities.
Remote Workers Ease Covid-19 Challenges
More workers at home mean fewer workers in the office. The Covid-19 virus’ ease of transmission has made many users aware of the devastation that can be caused by not adhering to safety precautions, the most common of which is social distancing. Moving forward, many workers despite the wide-scale vaccinations continue to have anxiety about returning to crowded office spaces. Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey has noted this ongoing concern of his workers, and has decided to allow remote workers to continue to stay out of the office throughout the summer of 2021. He intends even after this to maximize the amount of time that essential workers can work from home. Even with a mostly vaccinated population, the rise of Covid-19 variants will continue to make many workers who have underlying health issues feel less secure unless social distancing can continue to be observed.
Working From Home Makes Employees More Productive
Giving employees the option to work from home only makes them happier and this usually results in greater productivity. Siemens, for example, a large European industrial corporation has used the Covid-19 crisis to evaluate the benefits of working from home. The deputy CEO Roland Bush tweeted that “Covid19 gives us a chance to reshape our world and reimagine work.” In light of that, Siemens is giving its employees the option of working two to three days a week from home. They have determined that they will evaluate job performance based on outcomes rather than the number of hours spent at the office.
Working From Home Makes Workers Feel Safer
Budget constraints in large urban areas and a reorganization of funds normally used to police areas have made crime a large factor in determining why users would feel reluctant to return to their offices. A recent Forbes article cited the skyrocketing number of shootings in New York City which had ballooned to 687 killed or injured by gunfire. Polls indicate that people will not want to return to work if they feel that they are unsafe. Staff shortages for public transport caused in part by hiring freezes due to the Covid-19 pandemic have only exacerbated the issue as people feel unsafe if they cannot leave a troubled area quickly. This is true not only in NYC, but is also true in Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, Atlanta, and other US cities. In light of these facts, there is no surprise that people feel safer within their own homes and would choose to accomplish their work in relative safety.
CloudVisit Remote Inspection Can Aid This Cause
The number of people choosing to work remotely would have continued to grow regardless of whether a pandemic had occurred or not. Covid-19 was simply a catalyst that enabled key stakeholders to envision the future far more rapidly than would have normally happened. CloudVisit has been working toward realizing a new way of working for some time now. As a leader in Remote Visual Inspection software, CloudVisit can enable companies to lower traveling costs, communicate over a variety of interfaces with more efficiency than would be seen otherwise. At the same time, CloudVisit’s software enables the crew leader to increase the efficiency of each project resulting in greater profits and an improved work/life balance.