Have your opinions of remote work changed at all over the past year and a half, or do you still want your employees to return to the office in full force? Many major companies, despite initially advocating for remote work, are sending mixed signals on the topic, including Microsoft. What can we learn from the experiences of these companies?
Microsoft conducted a study over the past year with some fairly interesting results in terms of remote work. Microsoft transitioned to fully remote operations in 2020, and their results show that there were several problems related to the decision. These issues included a decrease in meaningful communication, less socializing between coworkers, and less collaboration as a whole.
These conclusions are a problem, but not exactly unexpected. There is a huge difference between working in-house in an office environment and remote work from a home office or otherwise. Microsoft found that remote work in such a capacity could be harmful to productivity and innovation, and the use of email and instant messaging rather than face-to-face communication made for a difficult time collaborating.
Therefore, while it might be necessary now, the benefits of remote work may stop after a certain point, and an entirely remote workforce could solve problems while creating even more of them.
When you take into account that companies like Microsoft have been pushing remote work solutions like Microsoft Teams so heavily, these kinds of revelations make it hard to know what opinion you should have on remote work. How can you know who to trust?
Ultimately, we believe that there can be some value in looking at what other companies have to say about remote work, but it ultimately depends on the way that you implement work for your business and the policies you put into place. Remember that you are not a large enterprise with thousands of employees; you are a small business with different needs from Microsoft, Google, or any of the other proponents of remote work. Depending on your specific needs, remote work might be able to address specific shortcomings that you have. The option for a hybrid workplace also exists, where employees spend part of their time in-office and part of their time working remotely.
Are you changing your approach to remote work moving forward? Do you want to maintain remote operations or are you hoping for a quick return to the office? How about a mixture of both approaches that let you get the best of both worlds? No matter the choice, we are confident that Southbridge Consulting can help you achieve your goals. To learn more, reach out to us at 281-816-6430.