The pandemic was a tricky time for everyone. The world as we knew it got flipped on its head and our day to day lives looked very different. Remote working and working from home became the trendy phrases of 2020, but two years on, many of us are still working remotely.

In this blog, we will look at how the perception of remote working and working from home has changed, discuss some of the benefits and see how Okappy can help managers and team leaders support employees at remote locations.

How common is remote working?

Remote working and working from home used to mean the odd day here or there if you had an appointment or needed to stay in all day for a delivery or engineer. But it’s safe to say that, since the pandemic, it has become much more common for  staff to implement working from home in their usual working schedule. In fact, a study in February 2022 found that 84% of workers who were working from home during the pandemic plan to carry on working from home and at their place of work.

The same study found that the hybrid working pattern involved working from home most of the time, with their usual office only being visited on occasion. 42% of workers reported this was their main working pattern, an increase from 30% in April 2021.

Throughout the pandemic, managers and team leaders embraced a range of tools to allow them to stay in touch with their team, engage in collaborative working, and keep productivity levels high. Tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams burst into the mainstream, and continue to be heavily relied upon in most workplaces today.

The benefits of remote working for employees

One of the biggest benefits to come out of remote working is an improvement in work-life balance. Three quarters (75%) of workers said their work-life balance improved as a result of working from home. This flexible approach to work can be really valuable when it comes to managing your personal life.

Simple things like being able to pick the kids up from school suddenly doesn’t railroad the whole day. Managers trust employees to integrate errands like this into their day, which in turn makes employees feel more valued and can actually increase productivity, as the survey reveals. This strengthens the overall working relationships.

People working from home reported they had fewer distractions and were able to complete their work quicker.

Remote working also eliminates long commutes. Before remote working was so popular, working in London, for example, only seemed feasible if you lived close to the city or had a direct route in.

5 days in the office in London, even from a city like Brighton with a direct train route, for example, is still a bit of trek. But having the flexibility to work from home and only visit the office once or twice a week, commuting is less of a concern, particularly when taking on a new job. It’s allowed people to stretch their job searches further, giving them the potential to earn a higher salary and look at different industries.

For those who do commute to work, hybrid working has enabled workers to save money on petrol, train fares or whatever expenditure it takes to get to work. Another study conducted by the Office for National Statistics in January 2022 found almost one in two people saw their average expenditure decrease when working from home.

Benefits of remote working for employers

Flexible work patterns can benefit employers as well as employees.

Earlier this year, social media giant Twitter, announced that its employees are free to work from home ‘forever’ or ‘wherever they feel most productive and creative’. In this announcement, Twitter revealed that the office will reopen, but staff are free to choose their work pattern and where they work. It could be 100% at home, 100% in the office or a mixture of anywhere in between. This has financial and wellbeing benefits to both parties.

Studies have shown that having a team working remotely can save thousands of pounds per year on things including utility bills and renting office space. Recruiting people that are looking to work remotely also gives companies and managers a bigger pool of possible talent to hire from. It doesn’t matter of they live hours away if they can work and communicate from any desk in the country!

The biggest benefit here, for both employees and employers, is the improvement of staff wellbeing. Mental health has gained far more awareness in the last two years, and this is one of the biggest considerations for managers. Ensuring that your team’s wellbeing is well looked after can benefit you and your company in the long term.

A survey from FlexJobs found that a whopping 97% of workers say that having more flexibility in their job would have positive impact on their quality of life. Improved staff wellbeing can lead to more engaged employees and increase productivity among your workforce. If your team feel valued, they will give more back.

How can Okappy support team leaders who manage remote employees?

Our field service management system can be accessed on multiple devices from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. Okappy gives managers seamless communication with employees to manage tasks and workflows, ensuring projects remain on track even when teams are not able to meet face to face.

Okappy allows you to schedule recurring jobs, collect payments, invoice, control timesheets, secure backups, and so much more! Okappy can also integrate with big name platforms in the industry, such as Oracle, Microsoft Excel, Xero and Sage, ensuring your systems are working together in a quick and efficient manner.

Find out more about the integrations and benefits of Okappy here. If your teams are working remotely and need an integrated, fully accessible platform to improve workflows, get in touch with our team today.

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