TMCnet Feature
November 29, 2021

What Have We Learned About Remote Working?

The past 18 months have seen quantum shifts in business patterns and technologies, as commercial operators have struggled to maintain productivity through a global pandemic.

Perhaps one of the most significant shifts in business practice has been the move toward decentralized working. The terms ‘remote working’ and ‘hybrid working’ have become commonplace across many industry sectors, and it appears as though the practice is set to become something of a new normal.

As business progresses through this era, what has been learned about the phenomena of remote working so far?

The concern of worker productivity

A key management concern with a dispersed workforce is the ability to maintain productivity in an environment with reduced supervision. Do remote workers remain engaged and focused on a task, while working in a home environment? The question of worker productivity in a remote working environment is elemental.

The positive news is that statistical research suggests that remote employees are generally tending to produce higher productivity returns than their traditional office-based counterparts.

Keen employee uptake

It would appear from reports that a significant proportion of respondents indicated a preference for either a remote or hybrid working opportunity. The findings of increased productivity and the willingness of workers to take up a remote working opportunity could be considered as being interconnected.

People generally place equal importance on their work life and their leisure time and appear to thrive when they can better control both. For many people, the internet plays strongly into both aspects – many people enjoy online activities such as social media engagement or perhaps playing a favorite game on a site like during their private time. For such online social activity, remote connectivity from mobile phones has given people the ability to access the internet from any location – perhaps a park or a coffee shop.

It appears that people enjoy this same flexibility with work.

It would be reasonable to conclude that employee acceptance and satisfaction with a flexible off-site working situation is at least partly responsible for this general productivity increase.

The future of hybrid working

The prospect of hybrid working environments – employees, splitting their time between working in the office and from home (or another remote location) is becoming a steadily growing trend.

Driven in part by the need for social distancing, hybrid working has seen a general acceptance, with a set of benefits becoming apparent for both employer and employee.

For the employer, key KPIs must be met with respect to productivity, profit, and customer satisfaction. Further benefits which are being realized are reductions in worker downtime, reduced sick days, and reductions in office operating overheads with reduced centralized staffing levels.

For the employee, potential benefits of cost and time savings on travel, greater control over the working environment, and working hours are realized.

Taken together, this range of mutual benefits has meant that many enterprises have increasingly adopted a hybrid working arrangement.

The effect of technology

Existing technology naturally compliments and, in many ways, favors remote or decentralized working. Cloud computing, coupled with access to fast internet speeds and ease of access 24/7, has made remote employees work efficiently and cost-effectively.

With advances continuing in this area, it becomes reasonable to assume that hybrid working is set to revolutionize how we go about business.


The remote ‘teleworking’ experience has so far shown promising benefits for both employers and employees alike. With many employees who have now experienced a sustained period of remote working, indicating their preference for such a dynamic, the hybrid working scenario looks set to become a new normal across many business sectors.

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