October remote work news round-up

Permanent shifts to the way we work – with more large companies announcing remote, hybrid and virtual work models

The bbc reported that Microsoft are making their remote work options permanent, joining rivals facebook and twitter.

Google is adapting a flexible, long-term hybrid model which allows for employees to work both remotely and in-office.   Sundar Pichai has said they are reconfiguring their office spaces to accommodate days when employees who are usually working at home will come into the office.  In an interview with Time100, he said “we don’t think the future is 100% remote…..we firmly believe that in-person, being together, having that sense of community is super important for whenever you have to solve hard problems”.  A google survey showed that 62% of employees felt they only needed to be in the office occasionally, whilst a further 20% felt they didn’t need to be in the office at all – more details here.

The shift to remote work is changing the shape of cities

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that rents are plunging by over 30% as companies transition to remote and let go of their offices.  The city is home to a wide range of tech-based companies including Dropbox, Facebook and Google. However, not all companies are reducing their office space – some are increasing it; Google is said to be expanding their San Francisco office, as they create a flexible work model that combines in person collaboration and remote working.  Read the full article here.


The office landscape will never look the same again

“We’re never going back to the way the world once was” is a repeated refrain from CEOs, talking about the rise of remote work, with ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott being the latest CEO to confirm his predictions that hybrid remote workforces are a permanent part of our new reality, not just for the moment, but for the future too, as CNBC reported last week.

ServiceNow provides cloud based software to automate workflows.  CEO Bill McDermott believes that working partly at home and partly in an office environment will be de rigeur and that the long term office landscape will be very different to the one employees left in March.

Slump in hiring in UK

Job vacancies in the UK remain lower than pre-pandemic, according to yahoo news.  The slump is particularly pronounced in city centre firms and is being blamed on the high number of potential customers staying home – roles that sell directly to the publilc in sectors like food, retail and leisure are impacted by Covid restrictions.

Remote Work Productivity Debate – Productivity UP, Innovation DOWN

We shared our views on the productivity debate that surrounds remote work, here.  The latest research is a report commissioned by Microsoft and published by Forbes that reports on a survey of 9000 managers across Europe, conducted by Boston Consulting Group and KRC Research.  It showed that remote teams have been highly productive, with 82% of respondents agreeing that productivity either held or increased as workers shifted to remote.  However, innovation levels are thought to have dropped, with 56% of executives considering their companies to be innovative last year compared to 40% in this year’s survey.  Read the full article here.

Virtual onboarding – how is it going?

Promoleaf surveyed over 1000 respondents in the US to find out how virtual onboarding was going for both employers and employees. Key findings included:

  • Over 90% of respondents felt that “swag” helped make them feel more welcome at a new company
  • Virtual happy hours, trivia games and buddy systems all scored well, along with remote mentors which were seen as really important in settling new hires into their role.
  • Almost 50% said that they wanted to hear more from CEOs, leadership, and others about how the company was being affected by current events, and what was being done to protect it, including their position. Over a third said they felt their company needed to do more to keep them informed about the effect of the pandemic on their company.

View the full analysis here.

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