The Coronavirus pandemic has left people exhausted and stressed. This trickles into the lives of customers and reflects how people interact with customer service and sales teams. What’s more, your business might have noticed a spike in customer calls for help this year.
If you ask 10 different people to define the year that’s coming to an end tomorrow, you’ll get 10 different answers. Same if you ask 1000. Because 2020 was tough, bumpy, and full of unpredictability in all possible areas. And we can all agree that it has forever changed the way we work and interact, both in doing business and in our private lives.
If there’s one lesson the pandemic taught business owners this year, it’s that having a virtual workforce is doable across many industries and sectors. About 50 percent of surveyed companies in the United States and Canada think their employees are more productive when working from home and project this will continue in 2021, according to Talent Trends.
However, the research also indicates that another 43 percent of companies are not sure if they can adapt to a digitally enabled remote work entirely in the months ahead.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working has become more and more widespread. According to Owl Labs’ State of Remote Work survey, at the beginning of this year, 62 percent of full-time employees in US worked remotely to some degree. By now, more than 65 percent are mostly working from home. And the already fragile work-life balance is once again under great pressure. Therefore, avoiding burnout and caring for the mental health of their employees have become paramount for companies from all over the world.
For the past half of the year, the economy has been revolving around virtual teams more than ever before. With lockdown measures in place, the only way for companies and workers all over the world to keep their jobs and their business going was switching to virtual spaces. Adjusting to this new way of working hasn’t been easy for anyone. And it has been particularly challenging for those who were doing it for the first time.
This article is coming to give a helping hand to those team leaders, managers, and workers who are trying to make their virtual teams work and prosper during these strange times.
At the beginning of 2020, an estimated 62 percent of full-time employees in the United States worked remotely at least to some degree, according to Owl Labs’ State of Remote Work survey. That number steeply increased in the wake of COVID-19. This escalation in working offsite requires the use of virtual communication tools to keep teams on the same page, despite shifts in workflow and location.
Months into the outbreak of COVID-19 and it has become evident that this pandemic will change how jobs are structured in the long-term. In fact, an estimated 25 to 30 percent of American employees could work from home a couple of days per week by the end of 2021, according to a Global Workplace Analytics prediction, with or without further lockdown.
Remote and flexible work is on the rise, with 40 percent more U.S. employers reportedly offering flexible workplace options than five years ago, according to Global Workplace Analytics. On top of this organic growth, the Coronavirus pandemic skyrocketed these stats in the second quarter of 2020.
In this landscape of social distancing and remote working, staying in touch with coworkers and clients is more important than ever before. Real-time communications platforms have cemented the importance of virtual technology across most industries and workspaces. And under this new normal, voice communication has surged back after years on the decline.
Flexible work is no longer just a trend. And remote working — mostly from home during this pandemic — comes with a unique set of challenges. While none outweigh the overall benefits of distributed teams, leaders do need to shift their management and processes to get the best results from a remote workforce.