There is a lot of executive hand wringing going on right now. It is related to remote work and what that will look like in the future. Executives are coming to terms with the fact that people want to work remotely. They just don’t know how to implement remote work options and still position their businesses for future growth.
If you are an executive, don’t worry. The future of remote work will work itself out. Study your metrics and make your plans. Be ready to respond as the market shifts. But then relax and let nature take its course. Remote work will become what it wants to become. You will not be able to stop it anyway. The best you can do is prepare for it.
The Emerging Hybrid Model
The idea of so many U.S. employees working remotely wasn’t even a consideration before the COVID pandemic. But as we all know, that once-in-a-lifetime event has changed everything. Employees got used to working from home after 6 to 12 months of doing so. Some still are. Many of them are not happy about having to eventually return to the office.
The net effect has been the emergence of a new hybrid model. Companies want their people back in the office. At the same time, a lot of people don’t want to come back. A workable compromise is a hybrid model that splits employee time between office and remote locations. The model is only going to become more common as more employees experience it.
More Jobs Going Remote
Executives also need to come to terms with the fact that more jobs are going to go remote. Of course, office positions requiring employees to do little more than sit at a computer all day are prime candidates for the transition. But even jobs that we assume don’t lend themselves well to remote work are going that way.
iMedical Data is a healthcare technology company that specializes in proprietary healthcare databases. They provide a qualified, first-person nurse’s database to healthcare recruiters on a mission to hire nurses. Guess what they have observed over the last two years? A growing trend toward remote nursing.
How is that possible? Telehealth is one avenue, but there are others. A full range of non-clinical nursing jobs can be performed remotely. Case management and nursing education are but two examples.
Remote and Non-Remote Interaction
If you are an executive and your head is already spinning, just wait. The fun just doesn’t stop. Consider what will happen to the relationship between remote and non-remote jobs should the hybrid model ever eclipse the 50% mark.
Perhaps a good number of your staff members leave the office for lunch every day. They visit local restaurants and sidewalk vendors. If all those workers are eventually made remote, the food service people will either have to adapt or go under. The smart money is on adapting.
We are already seeing it with door-to-door food delivery. Restaurant operators aren’t going to go away. They will find a way to still feed your staff in a remote setting. If that means partnering with a DoorDash or an UberEATS, so be it. They will do what they need to do to accommodate remote workers.
Remote work is on an upward trajectory right now. It also has momentum. There isn’t much the executive class can do to stop it. So the next best thing is to go with the flow and adapt to it. Remote work’s future will work itself out one way or the other. Businesses will prosper if they just allow it to happen.