4 Insightful Ways Work from Home Creates New Opportunities and Drives Innovation
The work from home (WFH) era evolved from necessity. Before the pandemic, there were WFH jobs. Still, many businesses thought it impossible for employees to be productive outside their four walls. That’s proven to be a misconception. In fact, the world now knows that work from home new opportunities and innovation are possible.
The Results of WFH
Now that WFH is the new normal, there has been significant research on its impact. One study found that 83 percent of employers and 71 percent of employees call it a success. In the 2021 State of Remote Work report, 90 percent of employees said they were as productive or more working remotely than in person. That survey also uncovered clear benefits of WFH, including:
- 82 percent of workers said remote work is better for their mental health.
- 84 percent of employees stated they were happier working from home.
With employees mostly feeling as efficient at home as in the office and their desire for flexibility, WFH is here to stay. The cited remote work survey above revealed that one in three would quit their jobs if no longer allowed to work remotely.
With the current state of work being remote, or at least hybrid, where employees come into the office part-time, what new opportunities and innovation have resulted from this shift?
WFH Improves Communication and Collaboration
When everyone was in the same space, did we take for granted the proximity of others to work out a problem? Possibly, but that doesn’t mean WFH created disconnection. It can improve communication and collaboration. Here’s why.
Instant Communication Replaces the Need for Constant Meetings
The number of meetings you had in the office is more than in the WFH model. They seemed necessary to discuss every detail of a project. With WFH, employees and employers have different perspectives on time. They don’t want to be wasteful. The old meme “this meeting could’ve been an email” is coming to fruition!
With video meetings, attendees want to get down to business and leave it with takeaways to execute. There’s still small talk, but people are more likely to show up on time and be prepared. The reality is that people have meeting fatigue! A survey found that 90 percent of workers want fewer meetings.
With the right communication tools, you can drop many of those meetings off the schedule. Simply creating a chat channel about a project or a customer could eliminate the need to have daily status meetings.
Collaboration May Be Easier from Afar
The old notion of collaboration is that everyone has to be in the same room. That’s out the door. Many would argue that such situations didn’t result in achieving the objective. Remote collaboration may be more productive. Everyone tunes in to the experience when on camera. Whereas in person, they may be distracted by their phone or the foot traffic outside the conference room.
Screen sharing enables everyone to work through a document. You can also annotate on screen as needed. Understanding that WFH can be more productive, collaboration can be, as well.
Another key point for collaboration is file sharing. Maybe you printed out documents and passed them around for review when in the office. Then, you’d have to aggregate all the comments and make changes. Or you exchanged documents back and forth through email. Neither of these scenarios is efficient.
If you have a central, secure file repository, everything stays in one place. You can even co-edit a document.
When you support and enable communication and collaboration, the opportunities for growth and innovation accelerate.
Employees May Feel More Engaged and Confident in WFH Settings
The typical day of a commuting employee involves many hours getting ready and in transit. That can be a long start to a day, as the average one-way commute in the U.S. is 27.6 minutes.
By the time someone gets to work, they may already be tired, frustrated, or disengaged. WFH eliminates all this. Employees have a stress-free commute down the hall. This time at home also helps them have a better work-life balance, especially if they are caregivers.
With a more engaged employee base, you may also notice more confidence. Team members may speak up more in meetings. When they do, that’s a benefit for all because it can lead to new opportunities and innovation for your company.
When employees have higher engagement, they come to work with more energy and motivation.
WFH Invites Opportunities for Success with a Larger Talent Pool
Recruiting and retaining employees is challenging in any situation. Movements like “The Great Resignation” are making it harder. If you support WFH, you can have a much larger talent pool. The best employees for your business may be hundreds of miles away, and that’s okay when you have the right WFH infrastructure.
That would include the right communication tools that are cloud-based and accessible from anywhere. That includes phone, video conferencing, chat, email, and more. It’s even possible for jobs like contact center agents, as you can deploy contact center software in the cloud. Whatever misconceptions you had about a position not being remote-capable, technology can deliver new opportunities.
WFH New Opportunities and Innovation Are Ahead
For businesses to thrive in the future, WFH will need to be part of the equation. It’s good for employees and companies. One of the critical components of delivering new opportunities and innovation is the right technology for communication and collaboration. Intermedia Unite is a platform that does just that. Explore its features and benefits today.