The WFH Yin and Yang

Key Work from Home Trends Paving the Way

The future of work for many of us is not at the office. You’ve just read statistics showing how quickly this has happened. COVID-19 has accelerated the pace, with a growing list of companies announcing that working from home will likely become a long-term business strategy.

But as we noted, too, there aren’t only positives to this. There are clear examples of success, but nearly 70 percent of managers remained that productivity might be impacted – even with technical training in place. Check out this report by Owl Labs for more statistics about the state of remote work.

It’s a global struggle. In fact, your location on the planet can offer your both advantages or disadvantages not found in the United States. Here’s a quick curation of what’s developed for WFH already, and what’s on the horizon.

 

It’s not an “all or nothing” thing

There are WFH benefits for employers and employees, with the key one being cost savings. Both groups have discovered, though, that there’s a price to pay for remote operations. Technology can keep us connected, but nothing can replace the benefit of physical interaction with coworkers. It’s why practically no one says they prefer to have a complete remote work situation.

A recent LinkedIn survey found that while 82 percent of workers expressed a preference to work from home at least once a week, only 57 percent said they’d want to work from home at least three days a week.

 

 

Coworking spaces on the rise

Interesting how quickly things can change: Back in 2019, LinkedIn called coworking spaces “sleeping giants.” Guess who woke up. Well, kind of. The obstacles of social distancing and operational ability caused by COVID-19 might have them napping a bit, but coworking spaces around the world have exploded from about 600 in 2010 to more than 26,300 just a decade later.

Experts believe that the industry evolving to support coworking spaces is somewhat recession-proof, mainly because workers now see these spaces as more than remote offices. Hospitality comes to play, and a coworking space helps us get that needed regular dose of human interaction – even if it isn’t with our actual coworkers.

 

WFH actually helps diversity and inclusion

Companies have long struggled with ways to create a workforce that represents the diversity found in the markets they serve. Often, this was hampered because a company hired from a pool of talent based on physical proximity.

The WFH growth trend solves many of these challenges. Offering positions to remote workers fulfills diversity and inclusion initiatives. This also allows workers the flexibility to pursue a career while also taking care of children or elderly family members. It’s estimated that more than 40 percent of remote workers choose a job based on this or other flexible workplace policies.

 

 

The balance

There’s a tradeoff. Workers gain time and flexibility to care for their families, but they also incur new expenses, as well as a unique and novel collection of mental and psychological challenges associated with isolation – which will go on long after the pandemic is behind us.

One way that organizations are helping remote workers achieve the balance between what’s work and what’s not in a home office is to provide branded organizational materials such as multi-pocket vinyl folders and sheet protectors, adhesive document pouches, plastic business card holders and pockets, and a wide array of other flexible packaging solutions. We’ve been helping clients with this for more than four decades, and we can print your name, logo and marketing message using either a silk screen or hot stamp method.

 


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