2020 set new records for remote work adoption, with more employers and employees than ever before making the leap into the increasingly developed market. While reports have painted this shift as a positive thing, it’s not without challenges that could act as dampers on remote work’s success.
Remote work expansion
According to a FlexJobs survey, around 96% of people surveyed in 2020 who took part in remote work wanted to adopt some degree of this practice going forward. Of this group, 65% wanted to engage with remote work full-time, while 31% desired a hybrid remote work environment. Even CEOs got on board with what remote work could offer, with 78% of those surveyed agreeing that remote work should be adopted as a long-term strategy.
Adapting to a new system
Though there are many aspects of remote work that translate perfectly well in terms of direct workflow, the more intimate aspects are often in dire need of addressing. The first of these, best managed by the employee, are challenges in ergonomics and physical space.
Offices, though often sterile in nature, are usually designed with some degree of ergonomics in mind. This is often not true in home environments, where comfort is painted as the most important aspect. While working for short or even medium periods on such equipment can be fine, work over the long term can introduce serious health problems.
Addressing this issue is, for now at least, the business of the employee. This means purchasing new equipment, finding a place for it, and, just as importantly, creating a setting around an at-home workplace that is free of outside influence.
This issue of physical space is one where many employees could find themselves hitting a wall. It’s all well and good to buy a house with a dedicated office, but for those with smaller homes or bigger families, such space might not exist. This can create a non-ideal workspace, which could lead to myriad negative effects on a person’s work performance. Ultimately, solving this issue could be a matter of a mass change of culture, where society in general understands and respects the work-from-home ethos better than we currently do. Perhaps easy to teach adults, but less simple when trying to teach children or a rowdy family.
As for changes made by employers, many current network systems are already set up in a way that makes the adoption of remote work simple. The only big problems here could come from the complexities of introducing outside computers onto a secure network, and the potential security issues that might result.
Fortunately, there are already many programs and systems to manage the security of remote work connections. The best free and open-source SIEM software does this by combining several key pieces of tech such as security tools, event logging, and support functionality. Apps such as this protect against the potential additional points of ingress that remote work systems can introduce, meaning a safer environment for everyone.
Related Read: Potential security issues when employees work remotely
Though it could be some time before we see the remote work revolution in full swing, there is no doubt that the stage is already set. For the sake of more spare time, increased productivity, and happier employees, this change presents some very positive potential. The only question is how well employers and employees could adapt to the technologies remote work presents, to address potential problems before they become real dangers.
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