A version of this article has been published on The HackerEarth Blog.
A few years ago, the concept of working remotely or hybrid-working was quite far-fetched for the general public. No one really gave it a thought, and as we all know, that changed in 2020. The effects of remote work speak for themselves.
The covid–19 pandemic which resulted in a worldwide lockdown forced the hand of every corporation to work from home and this seems to be becoming the new normal. Although this shift was sudden and unexpected, over time everyone began embracing it, and for good reason.
From saving cost and time to boosting productivity, the change is so significant that people now consider remote working as a crucial factor while looking out for new opportunities. Even though a certain fraction of people do want to go back to working in offices, it seems like remote/hybrid working is here to stay.
Remote and hybrid working: Impact on productivity and preferences
Before we dive into the effects of remote work models, let’s understand the main difference between them.
What is the remote work model?
It's where an employee works from any part of the world and is not required to be in an office.
What is a hybrid work model?
It’s pretty much the same as above, but here, the employee is expected to work from an office at least once a week.
The impact of work from home on productivity is quite good, data from multiple surveys and sources state that working from home has seen an increase in employee productivity.
For instance, this survey of 16,000 participants conducted by Stanford University came to the conclusion that working remotely boosted productivity by a staggering 13%. The main reason behind the boost can be ascribed to a work environment that is quiet and has fewer distractions, enabling employees to finish more work in a relatively short amount of time and remote/hybrid working models also resulted in reduced break-time and fewer sick leaves. This can be described as one of the best effects of remote work models.
In addition to improved productivity, employee satisfaction rates also seem to be skyrocketing.
The money spent on office spaces and utilities by businesses was reduced, this seemed to be a good move because as per the Global Workplace Analytics, the system of working in offices was already on its way out. They state this on the basis of a survey as it was observed that most employees weren’t at their desk 50% — 60% of the time. Even a survey by Vergesense states that the office space utilization rate in 2019 had declined by a whopping 27%.
This benefits employers greatly, furthermore, the hybrid/remote working models let businesses attract top talent. Over the course of the last two years and several surveys later, it was seen that businesses that offered remote or hybrid working options tend to attract more talent. According to Gallup, 35% of employees will leave their current employer for a company that offers flexible working options.
As mentioned earlier, improved job satisfaction levels are one of the effects of remote work and improved satisfaction levels come with better results, which leads to increase employee retention rates. It was seen that employees working remotely had a workforce happiness index score of 75 out of 100 which is more than employees who work on-site (71/100). The mental health of employees working remotely seemed to improve as well.
By now it is quite evident that hybrid and remote working models are more preferred than working on-site. OwlLabs reports that nearly 16% of global businesses are working remotely full-time and employees wanted to work remotely after the pandemic as well, in fact, one in three employees will quit if they are not offered either.
Challenges faced by DevOps teams transitioning to a remote or hybrid working model
When it comes to remote vs in-person work, most people will choose remote work and of course, everything comes with its own set of unique challenges and remote/hybrid working models aren’t any different.
Although DevOps teams, in general, are better equipped for remote working as compared to others, and over the extended period of time devoted to remote working, they too face unprecedented challenges.
Remote work for software developers is no different from other remote job roles. Effective communication is one of the key challenges faced, yes conference calls and online meetings are good but nothing beats face-to-face conversation. A bad network or service provider can hinder a meeting and misinterpretation of communication is quite common with online meetings and calls.
Speaking of bad networks, let’s not forget the fact that certain places do not have good network coverage at all. In fact, according to this study by Wallethub, it was found that not every place is suitable for remote working and since remote work enables hiring top-tier global talent, this can be quite the hindrance at times.
Recruiting may also take a hit if it isn’t handled in an appropriate manner. The process of recruiting online can be improved by using a number of tools meant for the same purpose, like FaceCode, an interview platform by HackerEarth with a real-time code editor, which helps you assess the candidates, and much more.