In the last two and a half years, remote and hybrid working have become the norm – a majority of employed Americans have the option of working from home for all or part of the week, and 87% of workers to whom remote working has been proposed have seized this opportunity with enthusiasm.
While some companies are pushing for a return to the office, today’s tight labor market is giving employees more power to push back on remote, or at least flex jobs. It’s not just a response to the pandemic anymore – it’s a way of life, and it has the potential to improve some businesses. People who work from home have reported an increase in their level of productivity without the distractions associated with the office – Oh, it’s Beth’s birthday. Cupcakes in the kitchen!
But both employers and employees have reported some downsides to remote working. Isolation can cause people to feel lonely and disconnected, leading to mental health issues. Learning and collaboration took a hit without the human element of being in the same room. And it can be difficult to create and maintain a company culture remotely.
Fortunately, some very smart people have thought about how to tackle these challenges and make them work. We put a few of them on stage last week at TechCrunch Disrupt, and while you can watch the whole video, here are some of their best ideas.
Be hyper-intentional when meeting IRL
Two and a half years into the pandemic, people are “actually begging to spend more time together,” Adriana Roche, director of human resources at Mural, said during a panel discussion at Disrupt.
Ironically, one of the main solutions to the woes of remote work is finding ways to bring IRL staff together. That might mean a few times a week in the office if everyone lives in the same city, but if the team is entirely remote, companies need to be more intentional about how they plan their monthly or quarterly travel.