Hybrid and distributed teams are clearly on the rise, with both companies and professionals pivoting their traditional workplace situations to adapt. In research carried out by Whitaker Institute, we gained insights into remote working, specific to Ireland in the past 12 months. Although 49% of respondents had never worked remotely before the COVID-19 pandemic, 94% of respondents said that they would like to continue to work remotely after the crisis. Distributed teams provide benefits for both companies and professionals in today’s world and here’s why.
It’s never been easier to work remotely
In today’s world, we are instantly connected through technology. The requirement for face-to-face meetings are seen as less and less important, with the availability of high-quality video conferencing software. Group instant messaging tools also allow employees and managers to keep in constant contact with members of their teams. Task management software, such as Asana or Wrike, also allows teams to work collaboratively from anywhere. We go into more detail on managing a distributed team and some of the best technology to use in our recent blog.
If you ask anyone who works remotely part- or full-time and you’ll hear one of two things: Virtual collaboration tools aren’t a perfect substitute for in-person connection and there is a benefit to having an office environment to work in, at least some of the time. However, through the incorporation of technology, it’s possible for teams to stay in contact with each other on an on-going basis, working productively from their own locations the majority of the time.
Attracting and Retaining Talent
Finding – and keeping the right people – can seem like an impossible task for businesses competing with big giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook, offering big name recognition, high salaries and perks. Adapting to a distributed team allows a company to hire talent from any corner of the country, disabling restrictions such as distance. In a 2019 survey at Hana, 70% of employees listed the flexibility to work remotely as a must-have benefit when considering a new job.
In some cases, a company finds that a potential employee is eager to take the job but unwilling to relocate. Other times, a talented employee needs to move to a different location but wants to remain at the company. In either scenario, the company has two choices: Accept a remote employee or lose valuable talent.
For both employees on the hunt for a new role and companies looking to hire or keep valuable employees, having a distributed team structure allows for a bigger pool of options for both parties.
Making the workplace more employee-centric
Companies are now in a position to rethink how they leverage and best utilize office space for their employees — and the pressure is on to create more employee-centric working environments. More people than ever want—and expect—flexible work arrangements, but on the other hand, according to PWC, the number one reason employees want to go back to an office environment after COVID-19 is to collaborate with their colleagues. In this case, adopting a hybrid workplace approach allows for employees to work remotely, while also having the option of in-person meetings and collaboration when necessary. Keeping these options available to employees will enforce an employee-centric culture.