Companies around the world are embracing the shift towards remote work and hybrid working arrangements. Large companies like Facebook, for example, estimate that by 2030, half of their employees will be working remotely. And many other companies have already transformed to being fully remote.
A recent McKinsey study revealed that almost 60 percent of Americans are able to work remotely at least part of the time. And as more employees work remotely, there are also new and emerging remote work trends.
Below we look at what to expect in terms of remote work trends for 2023. These trends include there being more of a focus on company culture, wellness and work-life balance, increased flexibility, more asynchronous communication, and an emphasis on diversity in recruitment.
Remote work trends for 2023: what to expect
Below are 10 of the top remote work trends for 2023.
1. Focus on enhancing company culture
To attract and retain the top talent in an increasingly competitive jobs market, companies are increasingly placing more importance on enhancing company culture.
Cultivating a positive company culture has various benefits. It can help create a happier workplace where employees feel committed and loyal. If there’s focus on work-life balance, then companies may also help ensure healthier employees who take fewer sick days. And it can help to protect against mental health issues related to stress and lack of work-life balance.
A positive company culture can also enhance overall productivity, collaboration and innovation.
When it comes to remote work, creating and enhancing company culture requires a proactive and intentional approach. Luckily there are lots of ideas of how remote companies can foster better company culture.
2. More flexibility
Flexible working hours are increasingly popular among remote work teams, as companies acknowledge that many workers would like to be able to fetch kids from school, visit the gym, or run errands during the work day.
Providing employees with flexibility can help employees lead happier, healthier and more balanced lives. Companies can still ensure productivity while adopting flexibility – and can even use tools to track time, or implement key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure performance is maintained.
Flexibility also extends to working hours in the office. While some employees may be fully remote, many companies are also offering working from home days (which includes being able to work from a coworking space) to hybrid teams as a benefit.
Flexibility is increasingly one of the most desirable features of jobs that employees are looking for.
3. Increased cybersecurity protection and awareness
Organizations are realizing the risks and vulnerabilities of having remote and hybrid workforces, and the need to implement more secure cybersecurity measures (including awareness training).
Many remote employees work from home using their own devices, which may also be connected to other internet of things (IoTs) devices in the home. These may pose significant cybersecurity risks if not managed properly.
And even if remote staff are provided company laptops and devices for their home offices, there’s still a need to ensure that there’s compliance with IT policies. And it’s imperative that an IT support team ensures that the latest cybersecurity defenses are in place including encrypted communications, multi-factor authentication, virtual private networks (VPNs) and that all software is kept updated.
It’s equally important that companies train their employees on the latest phishing scams and cyber attacks, and what to do if suspicious activity is detected or if there’s a cyber breach.
Companies are increasingly using cloud computing and cloud backups to enhance security, as well as a range of software as a service providers (SaaS) solutions to enhance their protections against cyber attacks.
And companies are also putting in place disaster recovery and backup policies and systems, so that they can effectively deal with any risks or attacks as soon as they are detected.
4. More asynchronous communication
As remote and hybrid teams get more experienced in working together, there’s increasing recognition of the need for asynchronous communication.
Not everyone in a remote team will be on the same time-zone, so it’s important to take cognizance of this when scheduling meetings or asking for input or feedback, setting deadlines and collaborating with team members.
Thanks to new scheduling software, teams can try to find the most convenient times to hold meetings before scheduling them. And it’s becoming the norm that staff are not expected to respond immediately to emails if that’s not when they’re working in their time zone.
5. A move towards more cloud-based computing
Companies with flexible work environments are increasingly adopting cloud computing. That’s because of its many benefits which include scalability, security and affordability.
That means that with increasing numbers of location independent workers, many more companies will migrate to cloud solutions. Those solutions include virtual desktops, software as a service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and cloud storage.
6. Focus on work-life balance, mental health, and wellness
Companies are increasingly aware of the effects of an unhealthy and unbalanced work-life situation. It can result in severe stress, illness, mental health issues and affects overall wellness of staff.
That’s why many companies are putting work-life balance, wellness and mental health at the center of their efforts to create a positive working environment for all staff.
That includes actively ensuring that there’s a sufficient work-life balance, that managers host regular check-ins with staff to see that they’re doing ok, and actively encouraging and providing wellness perks and benefits.
Some companies offer gym subscriptions, healthy meal hampers, access to wellness apps and a range of other activities that support staff and reduce stress and burnout.
Companies can also actively encourage communication, engagement and collaboration among staff so that remote workers don’t feel disengaged, unconnected or lonely.
7. Emphasis on diversity in recruitment
Another growing trend in the remote work space is an increasing emphasis on diversity in recruitment and hiring practices.
Remote work opens up many more opportunities to hire the top talent from anywhere in the world. But it’s important to recognize and be aware of how to actually reach out to diverse talents through modified job descriptions, hiring practices, and onboarding processes.
Diversity goes hand in hand with inclusion and companies are also increasingly recognizing the need for inclusive work policies and practices to help attract and retain the best talents from around the world.
8. Better perks and benefits
Remote staff have different priorities when it comes to perks and benefits that will attract them to working for a company.
That’s why companies are responding by creating remote-friendly perks and benefits to help them attract and retain the most talented staff from around the globe. This includes flexible work hours, parental leave days, wellness days, IT stipends, remote health insurance, bonuses etc.
9. Increase in robust remote work policies
Remote work policies are now seen as critical to minimizing risks and ensuring expectations are set. A remote work policy can help guide all employees – answering many questions that they may have and saving the company lots of time when it comes to onboarding new staff.
Remote work policies will increasingly become comprehensive to cover a wide range of eventualities, processes and procedures. They are also becoming an indispensable tool for remote companies to successfully onboard new staff and to communicate with all staff about expectations, requirements, and procedures that need to be followed.
10. Rise in remote work health insurance
In some countries, citizens are able to access medical care for free. But in other countries, the norm may be to use private health care where the state healthcare is very poor or where you’re mandated to pay for healthcare.
That’s why many remote companies are now offering remote healthcare insurance as a workplace benefit. Access to medical health insurance as a remote worker can be a highly attractive feature that may help companies secure the best talent from across the globe.
And whereas it used to be quite tricky to figure out how to provide remote staff with access to healthcare, a variety of remote healthcare providers now exist to make it easy for companies to add new members to their global remote health plans.