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The number of documented novel coronavirus cases in the US nears 6 million. The virus’s pervasiveness results in disruptions to a majority of Americans across the country. It transformed how we move, eat, and work. 

The pandemic disrupted how a majority of Americans work. Whereas less than half (43%) of US employees worked from home at least part of the week prior to the pandemic, more than half (66%) do so now.

Employees and businesses alike must adapt to this new work environment. Businesses should consider the following four remote work trends to support employees working from home.

  1. Employees Are Divided on Remote Work

    Businesses should consider employees’ sentiments towards their remote work environment to provide effective support.

    Following the massive shift to remote operations, employees developed attitudes towards their new environments. A Clutch survey found a split in the opinions held by the American workforce.

    Less than half (40%) of workers prefer remote work, and less than half (39%) of workers would rather work in an office. Nearly a quarter (21%) have no preference for their work environment.

    Many businesses that invested in remote operations may pursue the option beyond the pandemic’s end. For example, Facebook, Twitter, and Google are all considering indefinite work from home policies.

    To encourage widespread satisfaction, businesses should consider a mix of remote and in office work options.

  2. No Commute and Flexible Schedules Are Leading Benefits of Remote Work

    By understanding their preferences, businesses may enhance employee satisfaction and augment operations.

    Remote work eliminated commutes and its potential consequences. Unsurprisingly, the majority of employees (47%) reported a lack of commute as remote work’s top advantage according to a Clutch survey. 

    The elimination of commutes subsequently offers workers greater flexibility in their days. The survey also found that an amenable schedule was the second greatest advantage of working from home.

     

    Employees also reported the following benefits to remote work:

    1. Not having to dress up
    2. Fewer distractions
    3. More time with family, roommates, and pets

    Employees enjoy many benefits by working from home. Businesses should build policies that recognize these advantages to promote satisfaction and productivity.

    By understanding their preferences, businesses may enhance employee satisfaction and augment operations.

    Remote work eliminated commutes and its potential consequences. Unsurprisingly, the majority of employees (47%) reported a lack of commute as remote work’s top advantage according to a Clutch survey.

    The elimination of commutes subsequently offers workers greater flexibility in their days. The survey also found that an amenable schedule was the second greatest advantage of working from home.

  3. Collaboration and Interruptions Are Top Work From Home Challenges

    Employees encounter challenges in a remote work environment that businesses should consider in their work policies.

    Offices offer distinct advantages that remote environments cannot fully replicate. Shared workspaces create physical proximity—a key driver of collaboration.

    Remote work mitigates the opportunities for spontaneous interactions with colleagues. According to Clutch, one-third (33%) of employees state collaboration with colleagues is the greatest challenge of remote work.

    Workers face additional challenges when working from home:

    1. 27% struggle with interruptions
    2. 26% report that it’s harder to maintain a routine
    3. 22% find it difficult to stop working at the end of the day

    Businesses may better support employees by understanding the challenges of working from home.

  4. Digital Communication Tools Support Collaboration in a Remote Environment

    Businesses operating remotely should leverage communication tools to promote communication. 

    A variety of virtual communication platforms may ease the pains of working from home.  Digital platforms facilitate seamless communication between employees.

    To remotely connect, more than one-third (36%) of employees use Zoom according to Clutch. The second most popular tool’s Microsoft Teams, which 19% of employees leverage.

    Companies engage several other digital products to support collaboration:

    1. 17% use Skype
    2. 9% use Google Hangouts
    3. 7% use Slack

    Employees leverage different tools to reduce the challenges with remote work. The platforms limit the disconnection between colleagues by supporting real-time interactions.

    Businesses should take advantage of communication tools to streamline collaboration amongst employees working from home.

    Remote Work is a Lasting Reality

    A significant portion of the U.S. workforce will likely remain remote for the foreseeable future as the country continues to battle COVID-19. In fact, social distancing is likely to remain a staple of American life long-term.

    Remote work eliminates commutes and increases the flexibility in employees’ schedules. Workers also encounter challenges while working from home. Employees find collaboration difficult and face frequent interruptions in a remote environment.

    It’s important for businesses to communicate with employees about the advantages and disadvantages of working from home. An open discussion may inform solutions that ultimately increase workers’ satisfaction and productivity. 

Kate Russell

Written By Kate Russell

Kate Russell is an Editorial Associate for Clutch — an Inc. 1000 private company that helps decision-makers determine the best B2B service providers to solve business challenges. She is also an HR research and content lead.

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