Remote work continues to be an ongoing conversation in the media — and for good reason. As more companies return to in-office work environments, shift to hybrid models, or stay remote for good, there are many factors for employees to consider when deciding which option is best for them. Afterall, COVID has been a catalyst for working remotely for 2 years now resulting in a shift that has caused organizations and employees to adapt to working from anywhere.
As the pandemic forced companies to face the future of work, many have grown accustomed to the remote work lifestyle. In fact, 9 out of 10 workers hope to work remotely in some capacity moving forward. This is due in part to some of the benefits of remote work including:
- Time and money saved due to less or no commuting
- A positive work/life balance
- Flexible work schedules
With 24% of respondents in a recent survey stating they would quit if forced to return to an office full time, it’s time to consider the fact that the workforce has adapted to a remote environment with practical skills to combat virtual challenges. Take a look at the below to get an idea on what vital, adaptable skills promote a positive remote working environment for the future to come.
Inclusive collaboration with digital tools
When you actively seek out different perspectives, and are open to other ideas, and collaborate together, it can produce incredible outcomes. That is why inclusive collaboration is essential to accomplishing your work remotely. But remote collaboration can pose some challenges such as:
- Inclusively hearing all introvert and extrovert team members
- Sharing and receiving diverse perspectives and ideas from all levels of the organization
- Building a safe space to collaborate in a virtual environment
Employees who collaborate on the job and have access to digital collaboration tools are up to 17% more satisfied with their job and workplace culture. Having a digital, real-time workspace allows teams to work better, align faster, and move forward together. These tools also allow everyone to have a safe space to share their thoughts and ideas. Furthermore, digital tools bring team’s work and workflows together in one organized, single source of truth where employees can inclusively collaborate together with clarity. With so many tools available, it’s no wonder that humans have adapted quickly to remote work when they can accomplish so much from their laptop.
Related: Listen to Detria Williamson discuss how remote and hybrid work impact inclusivity
Self motivation in a virtual space
Remote work gives employees certain autonomy that’s not possible in a traditional, in-office work setting. But, with that autonomy employees have had to adapt to be more self motivated to get their work done. Unfortunately, not everyone is easily self motivated with problems occurring such as:
- Creating a schedule to be productive
- Setting boundaries with your team to prevent burnout
- Feeling stuck in a mundane routine
- Having distracting remote workspace
A bit of creativity and personalization can go a long way to creating a successful work environment for yourself. . For example, you can create time blocks in your schedule to work productively during the times that are best for you and to set boundaries with coworkers. Additionally, if you feel stuck in the same routine, schedule a walk to take a break or perhaps switch up what you are working on. The flexibility to do this is not always offered at in-person desk jobs so take advantage of what you can do. When humans have self motivation, they can be unstoppable.
Additionally, companies have also adapted to include incentives such as perks, rewards, and flexibility. Some companies include office space set up budget to create a focused at-home work environment or even coffee stipends to encourage employees to take a break when needed. The results of these incentives have shown as high as a 66% increase in engagement and motivation amongst employees.
Communication and connection with employees
It’s no secret that to work effectively while remote requires seamless communication and meaningful connection. Without cubicles or the regular ‘break room’ to stop and chat with colleagues, communications issues can occur including:
- Delayed response times due to different time zones
- Difficulty interpreting non-verbal communication via screen
- Distractions within meetings taking away from connection
Clear communication is the key to meaningful connections. Employees can take this into consideration by taking a more understanding approach to time zones, clarifying their words and thoughts, and clearing all distractions when in meetings to foster meaningful relationships. With tools such as Zoom, or Loom, Microsoft teams and email, there is no shortage of ways to communicate. that have adapted for the better.
While in person bonding activities may have stalled, digital opportunities are abundant and have adapted from a normal Zoom happy hour to fun, engaging activities to build connections. For example, a product team can host a digital trivia night with complimentary meals with a design team to establish a friendly rapport.
Humans have learned to pivot during the past few years, allowing communication and connections to be established in new and innovative ways. Moving forward, this trend only seems to be continuing.
Laura Furlong is the Content Marketing Manager at InVision. Her extensive marketing career has allowed her to work with lifestyle brands on developing elevated and innovative content. She currently lives in Southern California.