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In the first article of this series, we looked at how the first digital revolution brought about changes in communication. Before email and the internet, business correspondence could take days or longer to reach its destination. Even internal memos took a while to circulate and only reached those who were physically present in the office.
Quarantines and lockdowns brought on by COVID-19 have kick-started what Bloomberg calls 'the world's largest work-from-home experiment.' Working from home – also known as working from anywhere (WFA), remote working or telecommuting – is nothing new, of course; it is the suddenness and scale that have attracted the world's attention. Enabled by extreme advances in technology, remote working has, in fact, become increasingly popular both with workers and employers, for its effectiveness in lowering costs as well as boosting employee productivity, retention and satisfaction.
It is pretty clear why remote work programmes appeal to employees. After all, who wouldn't enjoy the flexibility, comfort and improved work-life balance that such a choice provides? Not many, it turns out, since employees have admitted that most of them would consider a pay cut of about 8% in exchange for being allowed to work remotely.
With or without an official remote work policy, the average professional is already doing some work outside the office. We check email at home, make calls during our commute, and respond to messages while in line for coffee.
Your company's culture affects every aspect of your business, influencing how workers interact with each other, your systems, and your customers. It is reflected on how customers, as well as suppliers, partners and even the wider public perceive your company.