Even before the advent of Covid-19, remote working had moved from a mere perk reserved for the few to a mainstream concept. While pre-2020 employees may have started to work out of the office here and there, being thrust into a global pandemic accelerated the uptake – and acceptance – of remote work.
While Covid-19 didn’t initiate the idea of remote working, it definitely fast-tracked a trend in the making. With this fast tracking came a whole host of unexpected opportunities and challenges.
Many government agencies had to urgently solve security, data and collaboration issues related to remote work without much preparation, leaving them vulnerable to various security risks. It also exposed unnecessary inefficiencies in employees workflows and increased the risk of screen fatigue and burnout.
But while increased remote working may have emerged with its own set of challenges, it also shone a light on some enormous benefits.
One of the biggest (and perhaps most surprising for some) benefits to come from remote working is productivity. While physical collaboration and office chats are beneficial for innovation and employee wellbeing, reducing office distractions by taking the physical office out of the picture saw a huge spike in productivity amongst many government organisations.
Employers were also forced to trust employees to work remotely, without any visual reassurances of them “being at work”. In turn, employees that feel trusted are also more likely to perform better, and feel more satisfied with their position.
Combining trust with a reduction (or complete eradication) in commute time, this has also lead to a decrease in stress. Oftentimes, employees who were subjected to peak hour traffic or crowded public transport arrived into the office feeling irritable and negative. It stands to reason then, that removing this pain point through the advent of remote working will automatically lead to a better work day experience for employees.