In February 2020, TIME magazine described the coronavirus pandemic’s workplace implications as “the world’s largest work-from-home experiment.” Today, it’s apparent that it is no longer an experiment, but a new way of working for the foreseeable future.
Globally, 70% of people work remotely at least once a week, as every sector from government institutions and utilities to big tech companies and major corporations have embraced off-site work (Figure 1). However, that doesn’t mean that companies are ready for this seismic shift. According to The Washington Post, as many as 90% of companies lacked adequate remote operations infrastructure to successfully maintain continuity during this transition.
Simply put, the ad hoc approach to remote work that defined the pandemic’s early days is not sufficient as a long-term solution to remote work. Instead, companies need to scale their capacity, preparing for a trend that isn’t just unique to this moment, but one that will define the way organizations operate moving forward. Here’s why.
1. Employee Satisfaction
There are many reasons that people enjoy and even prefer remote work. Some are worried about the health implications of returning to the office, others are happy to rid themselves of a commute, and some found remote work to be more productive than being on-site.
Regardless of the reason, 72% would like to continue working remotely even after COVID-19 removes the impetus for doing so. Therefore, establishing remote operations while it’s mission-critical can have positive implications for years to come.
For example, the energy sector struggles to attract and retain top talent, and an effective remote work option can be a compelling reason for workers to stay on the job, which saves time and money while producing better outcomes. For most companies, the future of work is a hybrid workforce that includes remote, distributed, and on-site employees working together to provide customers with incredible goods and services. In this environment, remote operations capacity is critical for finding and keeping the best talent.
2. Talent Acquisition
While near-term layoffs, furloughs, and hiring reductions are increasing worker availability, in the long-term, the energy industry is facing a precipitous talent shortage. It’s estimated that average staff turnover in the industry is 9.7%, making it the eighth-highest industry for staff churn.