When Covid-19 first hit the globe in early 2020, there was not much anyone could do except take solace in their homes and hope for it to pass quickly.
Some companies seamlessly switched to remote work models to maintain their operations, while others that weren’t remote-ready had to scramble to put in processes and technology to make remote work possible. Everyone assumed it was only short-term, but as the weeks and months went by, it became clear that remote work was here to stay.
After accepting this reality, the shift was not easy for these companies that scrambled to enable remote work. There were lags in communication. The right tools and technology were often missing. Internal communication teams were in crisis communication mode. There was difficulty in work delegation or getting feedback. And the list goes on.
It was time for companies to reassess their processes, technologies, and communications strategies to ensure they were set up for a longer-term remote work environment.
Over the past years (2020 to 2022), some interesting trends and predictions have emerged.
Here are just a few of them:
Key Trends And Predictions About Remote Work:
- Global Workplace Analytics estimates that employers can save over 11,000 dollars per year per employee from lower real estate costs, reduced absenteeism, and turnover.
- The CEO of Facebook stated that he expects 50% of their workforce to be working remotely by 2030.
- Upwork estimates that 22% of the workforce (36.2 million Americans) will work remotely by 2025.
- A Mercer study found that 70% of companies said they were planning to adopt a hybrid work model.
- A survey by Owl Labs found that 62% of workers from the age group 22 – 65 claim to work remotely on certain occasions.
- Microsoft’s Work Trend Index (published in March 2021) found that 66% of employers around the world are redesigning their workplaces to accommodate hybrid work arrangements.
- A FlexJobs survey found that 58% of respondents would “absolutely look for a new job if they cannot continue remote work.”
These insights speak to the benefits of remote work and suggest that the trend is here to stay. But is there more to it?
Certainly, there is more to it.
Opening Up Opportunities Beyond Borders For Global Employees
Being able to support a remote workforce is one of the silver linings of the pandemic. It has broken down geographical barriers and opened opportunities to look beyond borders, which is beneficial to both employers and employees.
- Companies started to look beyond borders and hire globally, getting access to the best-of-the-best employees from around the world.
- Job seekers now have the opportunity to get hired potentially anywhere around the globe, without even leaving their house.
- Employees have more flexible schedules and can work from home on days they do not feel so good or if they have personal appointments.
- It has allowed companies to be more inclusive of employees’ cultural and religious rituals. For example, flexible schedules during the month of Ramadan.
- Employees are more productive. With commute times eliminated, employees are no longer spending commuting to the office to do work that could easily be done at home.
Bridging The Gap With Internal Communication
While all of this global opportunity is fantastic in so many ways, we come right back to the challenges we stated at the beginning of this article - lags in communication, missing the right technology, inadequate internal communications, difficulty in work delegation and collecting feedback, and much more.
So, how do remote companies manage internal communications effectively? How do they bridge this gap between global employees and the company?
The answer is fairly simple: By developing a strategic internal communications plan that considers factors like time zones, languages, cultures, geographic locations, and so on and adopting the right technology to deliver relevant messages to the right employees at the right time.
At Sparrow Connected, many of our customers, especially those with remote workforces, find that SMS and mobile apps are the most effective channels for reaching employees. This is primarily because employees can easily check their phone as soon as they receive a text or push notification.
But SMS and mobile Apps need to be part of a larger omnichannel approach to employee communication. As you’re developing your communication strategy, consider adopting a combination of the following channels:
- Microsoft Teams
One thing is certain, remote work for non-frontline employees is here to stay for the near future. Take the right steps toward ensuring that your company’s remote work communication strategy is as efficient, effective, and inclusive as possible. Start by looking at the internal communication tools and channels you’re using. Are they the right ones?