Working remotely on a regular basis has gone from “nice if you can get it” to the new normal for many professionals — especially as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep people on lockdown. Now while it may seem like most employees are feeling the sting of isolation, a recent survey of 1,018 remote employees found that this might not be the case after all.
When asked how connected they felt to their colleagues while working remotely, 61 percent of respondents said they felt “connected or very connected” to co-workers after the shift to working at home.
This sense of connection and overall workplace satisfaction occurred across industries, with the highest comfort levels for working from home reported from the following career areas:
Amanda Augustine, TopResume’s career expert, Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC), and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), believes the data sends a clear message.
“Before the pandemic, employees and employers, alike, may have believed that in-person ‘face time’ was essential for maintaining collaboration, productivity, and corporate culture, but our survey proves otherwise,” she said.
Even with an impending recession on the horizon, 26 percent of respondents said they would potentially decline a job offer from a company that failed to provide a remote work policy.
“Since current shelter-at-home policies have mandated a virtual workforce, at least right now, our data proves that professionals feel connected during self-isolation,” Augustine added. “So much so, perhaps, that one in four would decline a future job offer if the company didn’t offer a flexible work policy.”
Jeff Berger, CEO of Talent — TopResume’s parent company — agrees.
“The seemingly overnight switch to telecommuting has accelerated the technology-fueled trend towards a more flexible workplace that had already been steadily growing,” he commented. “Our findings reinforce that remote working is a viable long-term option for companies, positively impacting productivity, employee well-being, and team morale. In fact, employers who deny their staff workplace flexibility may find them choosing to work elsewhere.”
Since it looks like working remotely will continue to rise (with many of us already doing it), there are several ways to make it effective for both you and your employer. Whether you have little work-from-home experience or were unexpectedly thrown into remote work without preparation, these tips can help you.
It can take some determination and creativity to be a productive remote employee while being a parent.
Whether it’s ongoing or for just a few days, communicate with your HR department and your manager to discuss your options and settle on a plan that works for everyone, like perhaps you can do a bulk of the work during off-hours. Share the plan with your team members and your family members so everyone knows when you’re available.
Make a schedule that lays out work time, meal times, quiet times, online school work, etc., and come up with age-appropriate tasks to keep the kids busy and learning when you have to be focused on your job.
Amanda Augustine shared one trick for when you’re working from home with a preschooler: “I’ve found that the same devices and activities I use to occupy my preschooler on an airline flight also work well at home when I need to work remotely.”
If your current employer doesn’t or won’t offer a remote work option, you can still get there. Consider a resume to highlight your remote-work skills and knowledge.
Remote work can be challenging, but once you’re settled in, it can become a truly desirable and beneficial lifestyle choice.
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