Remote work has been forced upon knowledge workers like never before and, as you would expect, the tech industry is looking to the future. Many leaders in the industry are exploring remote work post-pandemic and what that will look like. For instance, Twitter employees have been told that they can work from home “forever.”
Many see this as movement right direction, as it will open tech jobs to people outside of cities. It will also make positions accessible to people with limited mobility, caregiver responsibilities, and other potential barriers to traditional office life.
So, it’s no wonder that 96% of tech employees believe that permanent remote work is a reality. The question is, what exactly does that look like and how do we eliminate potential complications and hurdles?
As a lot of us have already discovered, it is quite difficult to create team comradery while working remotely. In fact, 62% of those who do not want to continue working from home full-time cite this as their chief concern.
It is in fact possible to foster company culture and team cohesion from a distance, it just takes a larger effort. For the time being, social gatherings will have to remain virtual, but in the future we expect in-person meet-ups to be more frequent. One option would be to have employees commute once a month or every other month, then enjoy a team outing afterwards. There are many ways to go about this, so it will be important to figure out what works for your team, especially if some members elect to move further away from the office.
On a similar note, trust will be of the utmost importance as teams become more remote. Leadership will need to be confident in employees’ ability to do high-quality work with a lower level of interaction or direct management. Inversely, employees will have to trust in their managers and the organization at large to give them the support they need, even at a distance.
Finding a Balance
Of those surveyed tech professionals who want remote work to be their permanent reality, 86% say that work-life balance is a primary reason. While working from home does provide a certain degree of freedom, it does start to erode the barrier between work and life. When you work in the same place you rest, it is all too easy to be available to work around the clock.
This means that those in the tech industry will have to consciously set up barriers to prevent this, as it will lead to fatigue and burnout if not navigated carefully. This means setting up personal and virtual barriers when possible. Whether that looks like a dedicated workspace, or blocking out time on the schedule for a walk or other relaxing activity, this will be paramount when remote work is more commonplace.
As a result, it is entirely possible that we will see flexible hours and longer weekends become the norm. Allowing employees to set their own hours or shortening the workweek have been topics on the minds of industry leaders for some time, and permanent remote work could be the catalyst for these ideas to become a reality.
Creating a virtual training regimen will be necessary for not only onboarding new employees, but also for development of existing ones. Tech companies must not let these things fall by the wayside as they move to a more remote or hybrid model of working.
This shift will actually open the door for new startups, as companies in tech and other industries will need software solutions to run trainings and fill other needs of a remote business.
We can also be sure that the tech industry becoming more remote will have unexpected effects on this sector, and on the nature of work in general. As always, leaders will need to be ready to navigate any challenges and opportunities along the way.
In response, we have seen a lot of clients hiring more senior candidates over less experienced profiles than in the past. This has created a heightened level of demand in an already tight software engineering market.
If you’d like to discuss this further, or would like assistance finding the best tech talent for your team, please reach out to us today.