Remote Work: What's behind the trend concept?
The world of work is constantly changing. Although for a long time it only affected individual industries, the topic of remote work has been gaining in importance for years. Since the Corona crisis, remote work outside the office is now also present among the masses. In connection with flexible work, there are some challenges to be overcome. But it also offers numerous advantages for employees and employers. So will we only work remotely from now on?
Around Remote Work
Definition - What is Remote Work?
There is no binding definition of the term "remote work". In German, it can be translated as remote work. Remote work is therefore generally used to refer to any form of work that is not performed in the company office. This can be at home or in a hammock in Bali.
In addition to the local component, there is also a temporal component. Remote work does not take place in the classic time from 9 to 5. Rather, remote workers spread their working hours flexibly throughout the day.
Remote work, home office, teleworking - what's the difference?
The terms remote work, home office, telework or mobile work are often used synonymously. But there are important differences between the terms, which can be relevant especially from an occupational health and safety perspective.
Telecommuting involves working permanently from home. A workplace in the employer's office is not provided from the beginning.
With alternating telework, employees regularly switch between the workplace and the private sphere. When the topic of home office is mentioned, alternating telework is usually meant.
Mobile work takes place neither in the office nor at home. Rather, the employee works exclusively on the road. However, there is a connection to the company via information and communication technology.
Advantages & challenges of remote work
Advantages of Remote Work
The following points regularly appear on the list of benefits.
- Productivity: Contrary to the still frequent view of many employers, many employees find the peace and quiet away from the open-plan office conducive to their own productivity.
- Avoid travel times: Due to the increasing demand for flexibility in the labour market, travel times of more than 30 minutes are the rule rather than the exception. Not having to leave home in the morning therefore means an enormous gain in time.
- Family-friendly: Balancing work and family life requires good time management. Working in a home office creates flexibility to organise family and job more easily.
- Climate protection: Millions of commuters travel across Germany every day, whether to work or to visit customers. This is associated with large amounts of CO2. An increase in remote work, video conferences instead of customer visits, offer enormous savings opportunities for the benefit of climate protection.
But for employers, the developments in remote work also offer some advantages:
- Employer branding: By enabling employees to work flexibly from anywhere and at any time, companies strengthen their employer branding and stand out from the competition when competing for talented workers. In some industries, especially the digital industry, the possibility of remote working is usually one of the minimum requirements.
- Access to skilled workers: The increasing urbanisation of recent years has become an ever greater competitive disadvantage, especially for companies in rural areas. By means of remote work, people far away from the company location are once again part of the potential candidate pool.
Challenges of Remote Work
At the same time, however, there are challenges to be overcome with regard to remote work.
- Loneliness: The office is not only a place to work, but also to socialise with colleagues. One of the most frequently mentioned negative points of remote workers is social isolation during the working day. This is one of the reasons why co-working spaces are becoming increasingly popular.
- Separation between work and leisure time: working from anywhere, the company laptop always with them - the separation between work and leisure time becomes increasingly difficult. As a result, remote workers often feel more stressed than people who mentally end their working day when they leave the company office.
- Information exchange: Clarifying problems at a colleague's desk, knowing what is happening in other departments - the office is also a place of information exchange. Companies need to find processes for this that also enable a functioning flow of information between remote workers.
How companies promote remote work
1. create digital infrastructure
The most important prerequisite for remote work is a corresponding digital infrastructure in the company.
- Employees are equipped with the latest technology, which enables them to use modern information and communication technology.
- The company network can be accessed securely from anywhere. This means that all information and documents are available regardless of time and place.
- Tools for collaboration and communication (project management tools, video conferencing software, messenger programmes, ...) are established in the company and employees are trained to use them.
2. provide equipment
An optimally equipped workplace is necessary to be able to work productively. This also applies to work outside the office. For employees in the home office, companies provide the same high-quality office furniture such as desk and ergonomic office chair and technical equipment such as laptop and monitor. In this way, they comply with their occupational health and safety regulations at the same time.
Find out more here about how to set up home office workplaces optimally.
3. enable the use of co-working spaces
Effects on the office landscape
As the way of working changes, so will the way office space is used and designed. Different scenarios are possible for the respective company.
Scenario 1: Decrease in office space in use
After years of rising demand, the real estate industry in particular fears a decline in the amount of office space needed. With fewer employees permanently on site, fewer jobs are needed.
Scenario 2: Distribution of office space
However, it is also conceivable that companies will not only offer one central office in the future. Instead, they rent several offices and employees choose the one that is most convenient for them to work in.
Scenario 3: Redevelopment of the existing office space
At Lendis, we do not expect the office to die out. On the contrary, we are convinced that it will continue to be an important contact point for employees. However, the office will primarily function as a central meeting place where one can exchange ideas with colleagues, plan projects and exchange ideas. For this purpose, companies provide appropriately designed areas. Instead of workstations, conference rooms, meeting points and lounge areas will dominate the picture.
How Lendis can support you
Lendis can support you in different ways to optimally set up your company for remote work. Whether you need the right equipment for your employees in the home office or you want to restructure your office and are looking for the right office equipment.