The percentage of remote work is increasing around the world. In the past decade, technology has become so advanced that most people can complete their tasks at home. Since 2005, the number of people who work from home has increased by 140%. In addition, 52% of workers work from home at least once every week.
As we continue to venture through the pandemic, remote work has become a part of our normal work lives. The influx of mobile workers means there will be new technologies and trends, as well as new ways of working.
1. Employee Engagement
Employees who work remotely look for more than just a job — they want a job that engages them and a company that pours into them.
Employee engagement touches upon many different aspects of employee life, such as satisfaction, retention, and recruiting. Engaged employees put more time and effort into their work and become more connected to the company’s mission and vision. In fact, disengaged employees can cost companies up to $550B a year; therefore, if employees are disengaged, leaders should consider different ways to engage remote workers, such as:
- Encouraging transparent communication with leaders and employees
- Fostering interpersonal connections with company outings
- Providing tools for better collaboration
- Celebrating achievements and personal milestones
- Teaching employees and leaders to be open and understanding
2. Awareness of Mental Health Needs
Remote workers can quickly become overwhelmed, overworked, and frustrated in their work environment, and as a result, it can contribute to poor mental health. Stress contributes to negative effects on employees, such as poor communication, lower productivity, low levels of engagement, and a decline in overall well-being.
Organizations can create a positive environment by:
- Creating schedules and an environment that helps employees balance work and personal life
- Educating employees on resources and support available to them
- Reducing mental health factors and stress triggers in the workplace
3. Focus on Cybersecurity
A rise in remote work presents unique challenges for cybersecurity, such as:
- Unsecured WiFi networks
- Less protection for sensitive information
- Increased risk of having hardware stolen
- A mix of personal and professional data and software
In the coming months, more companies will begin to implement remote work policies that address:
- How personal devices should be used
- How company-owned equipment should be used
- The protection of sensitive data
- How often to update software, systems, applications, etc.
- Multi-factor authentication and virtual private networks (VPNs)
- What to do after a security breach
If your company already has a remote work policy in place, it should be revisited and updated. Above all, companies should strive to protect employee data and information. Cybersecurity is ever-evolving; therefore, each company should invest in ongoing cybersecurity training for its employees.
In short, the coming months will see new developments in remote work, mainly centered around employee engagement, mental health issues, and cybersecurity. Therefore, it’s essential for leaders to prepare the necessary resources and tools to help guide their employees and ensure that there are policies and guidelines in place for their protection.