Does remote working signal the end of the corner office?

The corner office is seen as a perk of the job and a status signal for those climbing the corporate ladder. However, corner offices are often seen as a visible reward for being successful when it comes to success.

Because of Covid-19, We have all experienced significant changes in the way we work. We are in our own homes. The adoption of team working collaboration tools, such as Slack and Basecamp, and online video calls using Zoom and MS Teams enables teams to work remotely.

At work, we can work with colleagues around the globe at any time in the world. Remote working is now ubiquitous, with 57% of the UK wanting to work from home. The availability of technology has certainly made this possible, but how does it change traditional workplaces? What does it mean for the corner office?

Traditionally, when you worked in an office environment, not only did you have your own desk with your own computer. As a result, expectations on subjects like working hours and dress code were clearer than they are for a remote worker.

Agreeing on your working hours

Company leaders need to work with their HR company or HR department to provide clear guidance on what is expected from remote / home workers and their work hours.

Technically, remote workers can successfully complete all of their work outside of the traditional 9 – 5 working days. However, this isn’t always possible because of the nature of their work or dependent upon time zone differences.

If your employer is to hold you accountable for your performance, then they need to agree on what the working day means when it comes to doing that. Is this 8am – 6pm or 9am – 6pm? The important thing is that everyone in the company should be working within the same time window.

Alternatively, you can agree with your employer on core hours to work and be available for meetings. For example, these core hours could be 10am – 2pm; the remaining time to complete an 8 hour day could be completed at the employee’s convenience.

Staying in the loop

Have you ever felt that you are “Out of sight and out of mind”? This has been a common enough problem with remote working. However, with the popularity of remote working and online collaborative tools, this problem has been somewhat mitigated. Teams are more familiar working remotely, and technology like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephones are enabling teams to communicate.

If your work is done remotely, your manager should create an environment that encourages communication with your co-workers. The main ways of doing this are using online video meetings or Slack to chat with other team members.

This way, the boss can still stay in touch with their remote workers and keep them updated on how things are going within the company. It will also help improve collaboration and teamwork. As long as you keep an eye out for any online notifications, then you won’t miss anything that is going on at the office.

How to avoid feelings of isolation

Remote working removes your daily commute, and for some, you can change your working hours to suit. This gives you more flexibility on how you can use the hours in the day.  In some cases, however, people can experience feelings of isolation.

There is a need to have face-to-face contact with people. So include social breaks in your schedule. Use your new freedom to socialize with friends. If working in your home is too isolating, you can try co-working facilities or spend time working from a coffee shop. You can also use your new flexible approach to working hours so that you can fit in other activities that traditionally were closed to you, such as day-time college courses.

What does this mean for the corner office?

Many companies are now downsizing their physical offices. This is not due to a need to save money, but it is a symptom of the changing priorities in business. In many cases, people who work in the office do not always need their own office.

Mobile software development kits (SDKs) and applications that facilitate seamless communication and collaboration allow people to get more out of working from home or a co-working space. In addition, technology has allowed businesses to focus on removing obstacles and making it easier for people to connect. Many of these initiatives also reduce real estate and energy costs and improve staff efficiency and motivation.

When your employer provides you with remote access, this means that you can work from wherever you want whenever you want.

Author: Editorial Team

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