When the pandemic struck a few years ago, and the restriction of movement was enforced, millions of people started working from home – because they had no other choice. As the pandemic began to ease, millions of people were still working from home – and this time because they preferred to.
These adjustable structures differ in several industries, and employers are making flexible arrangements where jobs can be done remotely. Although many people can successfully work from home, using a serviced office cannot be replaced.
The office establishes a structured workday and induces a shared routine among co-workers.
It also helps develop relationships that allow workers to meet project deadlines. So the big question is, has remote work fully replaced the onsite office? No, it hasn’t. But this doesn’t mean that this work model hasn’t affected the office model in several ways.
Due to the differences between the remote and in-office work models, you can’t successfully replace the other – and employees are assigned this role based on the establishment’s specific needs.
Below are some areas where the effect of the remote work model is quite visible:
One of the most prominent differences between a remote and an office worker is the frequency, mode of communication, and ease of carrying out work-related tasks. Communication is a significant factor, as you can’t approach a remote worker physically and talk face-to-face.
Office communication is easy, and employees can bond over work. Even when an employee can’t be reached right away, you won’t need a software tracker to see what they’ve been up to. However, you’ll need to use technology to talk to remote employees. This can be in the form of an instant messaging platform. And if you contact them without receiving a reply, you’ll have to wait for their availability – even in times of urgency.
In an office space, monitoring is a mixture of several things. Here, you can see workers by using software to track their PC activities. But with remote employees, the only way you can monitor their activities is through the tracker app.
Overseeing workers is very important, as this helps evaluate and delegate specific roles to specific workers. There is reliable software available that can be used to clock in remote workers, tell if an employee is inactive – or how long the employee has worked in a day.
A significant difference between remote and office employees is the daily organisation. Remote workers have a lot of flexibility as they can decide to start working as soon as they wake and then take a longer break so that they can carry out household activities.
In-office employees are usually restricted regarding working hours, as they typically work in one go. So they don’t enjoy as much flexibility and freedom as a remote worker. A great way to organise the time a remote employee spends on a project is by giving them access to their reports using monitoring software.
For in-office working, employees are totally absorbed in the company. This is perhaps the most significant benefit, as the employees are always directly immersed in the company culture – creating a greater sense of belonging among the team members.
For remote workforces, upholding the company culture is quite tricky, so the employer needs to work at maintaining this company culture. Things like: organising team buildings, having active casual team chat threads, calling them into the office from time to time, and so on.
Should remote and office workers be treated the same way? The answer is no. Their working styles and designs help them communicate and collaborate with other people in the company. As an employer, you’ll need to adjust the communication, tracker, and time management tools to suit their individual needs.
You shouldn’t expect remote and office workers to produce more or less than they do. Great work is great work – even when done at home. Equally, missing a deadline can happen when an employee is in the office or not.
Working at the office comes with its own challenges as well as benefits. The same could be said for working remotely too. One isn’t better than the other. With a bit of tweaking here and there, you’ll find that some employees want telecommuting and others don’t – and some jobs are better suited for a unique work style. What’s most important is knowing the differences and challenges between these two methods – and learning how to use them better.