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An unprecedented workplace shift has taken place during the coronavirus crisis as 62 percent of employed Americans currently say they are working from home during the crisis. And this trend will likely increase given that big companies Twitter, Square, Nationwide, Google and Facebook recently announcing permanent work from home options for their employees even after the pandemic is over.
With this sudden workplace transition, businesses are facing the challenge of keeping employees both productive and engaged.
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Instead of viewing this disruption as a setback, we should view this change as an opportunity.
Remote work isn't just a short-term fix, but rather will open up new opportunities and test the long-term resilience of a business.
Case in point, Gartner recently found that 74 percent of CFO's intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently post COVID-19. It's up to C-suite leaders and IT executives to implement the right technology, processes, and culture needed to succeed while working from home. Here’s what employers and managers need to know:
The future of work is flexible, but employees still need boundaries
This pandemic has forced many parents to function as teachers, cooks, caretakers and everything in between. So, how can companies ensure employees are driving the same business results, while also providing them with the flexibility needed to manage these new working conditions?
The reality is that after COVID-19, many companies will make remote work a permanent solution. Zillow just announced it will allow over 5,000 employees to work from home for the rest of 2020. With remote work opening as a permanent option, we no longer need to tie work to time, but rather to productivity.
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At the end of the day, all that matters is getting the job done, not restricting employees to a rigid work schedule. In fact, remote employees are often more productive than in-office employees, with estimates showing they log an average of 1.4 more days per month.
Security shouldn’t be an afterthought, but a focal point
As evidenced by recent 'Zoom-bombing' attacks and Microsoft Teams’ impersonations, remote work is bringing unprecedented security threats into the spotlight. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has seen a fivefold increase in cyberattacks since the start of the pandemic.
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However, tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are mission-critical for organizations to continue working at the same pace and scale. Businesses can use their favorite software (e.g. Slack, Zoom, etc.) in a virtual workspace that functions as a single, secure "container" – versus a risky web-based URL.