Companies have been experimenting with work-from-home or alternative work setups for some time, but nothing brought this experiment to the fore quite like circumstances over the last several months. When the immediate need to work from home arose out of concern for employees’ safety, many organizations found that this shift could shape the future of our workplaces, changing the way we look at such arrangements.
Now, approximately 42 percent of the U.S. labor force adapting to work remotely, and despite the conditions that got us here, it will be exciting to see how that forward-thinking segment of professionals drives the conversation. With this in mind, there are three distinct ways working from home will likely shape the future of our workplaces.
1. Improved performance measures
With employees working away from traditional office environments and given the autonomy to work where they choose, performance measures and metrics will have to be adjusted. Change on the horizon is nothing to fear. It presents a fantastic opportunity to craft a more goal-oriented approach supporting high-level goals and big-picture strategies. There is nothing good about working in an environment that feels micromanaged, as it stifles employee creativity and drive. Freeing up your team to work from home means trusting them to meet their goals. It’s a give and take, and one that puts the responsibility of prioritization on your employee. But with increased personal responsibility, people usually find themselves more dedicated to meeting their goals and spending their time more efficiently.
2. Increase in productivity
There is this assumption that work-from-home employees are less productive, but research shows that is not the case. A California-based study by Prodoscore recently found that employees who worked from home were 47 percent more productive. With commutes eliminated as well as other distractions, employees can dedicate more time to their actual work and increase their focus on what needs to be done.
3. A more proactive and talented staff
Working from home means people have to be more proactive with their time and ensure their work is getting the focus it deserves. Alternative work arrangements and working from home help organizations break the geographical barriers and hire the best talent. It also gives companies an edge in retaining their women workforce.
It seems that all roads point to a future where working from home is the new normal, and organizations would be remiss to ignore the opportunity. As we debunk the myths of working from home and embrace its value, companies will continue to conquer the future, no matter what it throws our way.
This article originally appeared in Entrepreneur.