Many companies are planning on reducing on-site staff to maintain 50 percent capacity in physical offices through rotation of employees or designated “in-office days.” A continual large percentage of remote workers can curtail effective collaboration, which turned out to be the main reason some employees—such as those surveyed recently at Nutanix—want to return to the office at all.
Some companies are rethinking the need for an office altogether. Without an office and staffed with people scattered across states or countries, organizations could significantly reduce or eliminate the need for regular travel to headquarters. A virtual workforce would also enable companies to seek out the best talent wherever they can find it, and not have to be limited to one specific geographical region.
"This is an opportunity to scrap the idea that big cities are the only places where meaningful work can happen because we know firsthand that isn't true," Travis Robinson, the head of diversity, inclusion and belonging at Spotify, in an interview with Insider.
Work From Home Pitfalls
Despite the many perks, some experts still say the concept has its flaws.
It’s one thing to be forced to work from home and make it work well enough for the time being, and something else entirely to adopt a permanent remote work strategy as an integral part of company culture.
What is good enough in the short term can become laborious or ineffective in the long run when the technology isn’t improving as quickly as you want and methods for driving strong communication and building trust among virtual team members, for instance, haven’t been well thought out or clearly defined.
"Many business leaders think that 'going remote' is as simple as sending a worker away from the office, equipped with a laptop and a to-do list," said Laurel Farrer, founder of the Remote Work Association and CEO of Distribute Consulting, in an interview with Insider. "Unfortunately, it's not that simple. In fact, when the correct policies and procedures are not created to support off-site employees, terrible consequences are likely to occur."
As companies adapt to remote work, thoughtful leaders need to find solutions to encourage collaboration, decrease digital miscommunication, and simulate a workplace structure for employees.
Remote work doesn’t work for everyone, so companies get creative.
Regardless of whether they end up working from home forever, employees at Twitter, Square, and other technology companies are fortunate that they even have that option.
In addition to the tech sector, other industries are well-suited to at least partial remote work capabilities, including finance, insurance, administrative and professional services, management, marketing, and government.