Work as we know it will never be the same. These days, schedules are more flexible and some organisations have even opted for a four-day work week.
One thing is certain: remote work has changed the rules of the workplace and a number of studies suggest that it’s for the better.
For one, employers have less overhead expenses, enabling them to reinvest in their products and their people. For another, workers now enjoy more flexible hours. Apart from providing them with better work-life balance, it also empowers them to get more done in less time.
Even Microsoft agrees. According to their latest analysis, remote workers now have three productivity peaks in their workdays: 10am, 3pm, and 10pm. Tapping into these wouldn’t have been as feasible pre-pandemic.
What does this imply then?
How Remote Work is Changing the Rules
Thanks to remote work, it has become possible to spread our duties across a typical working day as we see fit. There is no longer any reason to cram everything into an 8-hour time frame.
We can start working at any time and stop once we finish our tasks – even if it’s not even 5 PM yet. Simply put, because of flexible work, employers and employees alike, have more time to explore other opportunities and spend quality time with their loved ones.
However, without clear boundaries, remote work can be challenging.
Many still end up working past 10 PM. If you’re a nightowl, this might be intentional. After all, many creatives are more effective at brainstorming during the wee hours of the morning. Otherwise (and unless you work with clients in a drastically different time zone), working late hours can be problematic.
Speaking of which…
An Unexpected Downside
A study from Asana has revealed that many workers find themselves spending half their time doing “work about work.”
In other words, they’re constantly following up on work updates from their colleagues, switching between different apps to accomplish tasks, listing down projects, and scheduling meetings. Before actually doing any of those things.
As a result, employees end up working for longer than they should, even if they’re not necessarily productive anymore.
Unfortunately, some managers even have it worse. They struggle to focus due to excessive notifications. The so-called “blizzard of alerts” can detract from productive and meaningful work.
So, how can companies address this?
Striking a Balance in Remote Work
Part of the problem could lie in the software that remote teams use. A lot of productivity and project management software are built like social media apps. They constantly churn out updates and notifications – all of which require immediate attention.
To resolve this, organisations need to invest in tools and software that make productivity simple and straightforward. For instance, productivity apps like Forest enable team members to focus on a specific task without distraction. With the help of your IT department, you can incorporate features like this into your internal software.
Another way to maintain well-being in the remote workplace is through virtual commutes. Introduce the idea of having a fixed morning (or evening) routine to your remote workers. Ideally, it should be one that allows them to plan their day by identifying which tasks to do and how much time they should allot for such.
With the help of apps and routines, it’s easier to stay on top of things even as the workplace keeps changing.
Need help making remote work work for you? You’ve come to the right place!
Remote Staff has been helping Australian SMEs and entrepreneurs like you navigate the challenging yet exciting world of remote work. Through our skilled remote workers from the Philippines, we make it possible for your business to thrive and succeed – regardless how much the workplace has changed.