A change is afoot, one so profound that it’s been described as a seismic shift in how we approach the concept of work. The buzzword is ‘remote working’, and it’s been echoing through business corridors and virtual boardrooms ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some companies hurriedly jumped on the remote work bandwagon as a knee-jerk reaction to the pandemic, others have been pioneers in this domain, leveraging the potential benefits of going remote long before it became a necessity.
Stainless Communications, for instance, has been a proponent of this digital work culture since 2002. In the face of uncertainty, while many businesses struggled to find their feet, Stainless Communications found itself well-equipped to adapt. The transition to remote work wasn’t an overnight emergency plan for us – it was an established operational norm, backed by meticulous planning and strategies developed over two decades.
When discussing the importance of proactivity in business, our CEO, Sean Lobdell, aptly put it: “In business, as in life, it’s not about reacting to change; it’s about anticipating it. We recognized early on that the future of work was shifting towards the digital realm. This foresight allowed us to fully execute and build systems, procedures, norms, and a robust remote culture, putting us miles ahead in the game.”
A look at the numbers and it’s apparent that this is no passing trend. A recent Gartner survey revealed that 80% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time after the pandemic, while 47% will allow employees to work from home full-time. In a PwC survey of 669 CEOs, 78% agreed that remote collaboration is here to stay for the long-term.
The question is no longer about whether remote working is feasible. Instead, the focus has shifted to how businesses can reap the benefits of this new landscape and harness it to drive future growth.
Remote Work: Unlocking Business and Marketing Potential
From cost savings to enhanced productivity, the benefits of remote work are manifold. However, its impact extends beyond these obvious advantages, fostering innovation, enhancing employee satisfaction, and opening the doors to global talent.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, businesses can save an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year. These savings come from increased productivity, lower real estate costs, reduced absenteeism, and fewer employee turnovers.
Not only does remote working offer a significant economic advantage, but it also fuels innovation. Diverse teams, which are more feasible in a remote working set-up, bring in a variety of perspectives and ideas, driving creativity and innovation. This is especially critical in the marketing realm, where fresh, innovative ideas are the lifeblood of successful campaigns.
Lobdell adds: “Innovation thrives when we step out of our comfort zones and welcome diverse viewpoints. A remote setup allows us to tap into global talent and build a team that’s as diverse as it is skilled. This blend of experiences and perspectives is what drives our creative solutions.”
The future of work is here, and it’s digital. As Lobdell points out, “The world was moving towards digitalization, and COVID-19 simply fast-tracked that transition. Businesses need to adapt to this new norm, not as a temporary fix, but as a long-term strategy. At Stainless Communications, we’ve been leveraging our digital prowess to stay ahead of the curve, and it’s time for other businesses to do the same.”
In this new era, businesses that fail to adapt risk being left behind. So, as we navigate through the post-pandemic landscape, the key to success lies in embracing change and leveraging it to drive growth and innovation. After all, in the words of Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”
Fostering Connection in a Virtual World: The Role of Technology and Leadership
The transition to remote work isn’t just about setting up home offices and juggling work-life boundaries; it’s also about maintaining connections in a virtual environment. At Stainless Communications, we have been leveraging our website and intranet for collaboration, offering a digital space that fosters connection and keeps our team unified.
The critical role of technology in facilitating remote work cannot be overstated. Businesses need to implement robust digital infrastructure and tools that facilitate seamless collaboration, maintain productivity, and ensure data security.
Virtual communication and project management tools have become the new lifelines of businesses. From video conferencing tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, to project management platforms such as Asana, Trello, and Slack, technology is bridging the geographical gap between remote teams.
However, technology is only as effective as the people who use it. This is where leadership plays a pivotal role. Leaders need to be proactive in driving the remote work culture, setting clear expectations, fostering open communication, and building trust within the team.
As Sean Lobdell, our CEO, points out, “Leadership in a remote work setting goes beyond managing teams. It’s about fostering an environment of trust and respect, where everyone feels heard, valued, and motivated. It’s about being a guiding light in times of uncertainty.”
The Future Is Remote: A Glimpse into the Post-Pandemic World
While the pandemic has been the catalyst for the global shift towards remote work, the trend is set to continue in the post-pandemic world. According to a survey by Upwork, 41.8% of the American workforce continues to work remotely. Even more interesting, if given the option, 54% would prefer to work remotely.
As Lobdell suggests, “The pandemic was just the nudge that the world needed to embrace remote work. It’s now up to businesses to harness the potential that this new norm offers. The companies that leverage this opportunity will be the ones leading the way in the post-pandemic world.”
Looking forward, businesses need to rethink their strategies, putting remote work at the forefront of their operational plans. This requires redefining corporate policies, investing in the right digital tools, and most importantly, fostering a culture that supports remote work.
With the pandemic easing and the world slowly transitioning into a new normal, businesses have a unique opportunity to redefine the future of work. Embracing the remote work model is no longer just a survival strategy; it’s the key to unlocking business potential and driving growth in the post-pandemic world.
As we step into this new era, Lobdell leaves us with a thought to ponder, “Change is the only constant. As business leaders, it’s up to us to harness this change and shape the future of work. The question isn’t about going back to the old ways; it’s about moving forward and creating a workspace that’s flexible, productive, and innovative. The future of work is here, and it’s remote.”