In May, having suspended all in-person events and business travel until 2021, Twitter’s CEO announced that his employees can work from home ‘forever’ if they choose.
With COVID-19 having forced all office-based companies around the world to operate from home, news like this comes as no surprise. Many companies have since followed suit, as they recognise the benefits of virtual working and that they don’t need to rely on an office to effectively function, thus reducing costs.
In fact, based on the 2020 Global Virtual Work Survey, nearly 2700 business professionals from 106 countries, who participated in the study, indicated a strong preference for continuing to work remotely, even when they have an option to return to the workplace.
This is largely due to the increased employee benefits that come with remote working. A better work/life balance is the obvious outcome, with staff being empowered to decide how to structure their working day.
Additionally, without the commute to the office, which can be time-consuming and stressful for some, employees have more time in the day to be able to attend to the needs of their personal life more. As well as increased loyalty, this means your staff are happier and healthier, which ultimately results in reduced sick leave.
Before the pandemic, employees would typically request to work from home to escape the distractions of the office and really focus on a particular task or project. With this now being the norm, staff have reported that they’re more disciplined and productive, given they have minimal distractions and need to hold themselves to account.
Another positive outcome from shifting to remote working is that communication within companies has improved. Without the face-to-face contact, managers are more conscious about dedicating time to connect with their team, and with everyone working from home, it becomes easier to plan exactly when to bring teams and the entire organisation together. The use of technology to aid communication has also increased, offering employees more opportunities to communicate across the company.
Despite these benefits, they do in fact provide more reason than ever for verification, as your employees are no longer constantly in the presence of their team and manager. Especially when making new hires, businesses need to be able to make hiring decisions based on trusted information. With around 50% of CVs containing embellished information, hiring managers need to be assured more than ever that those they hire have the skills and qualifications to carry out their role. In the office environment, it can become quickly apparent when someone has over-exaggerated their work experience or formal qualifications.
However, in the work from home environment, gauging someone’s proficiency in day-to-day tasks becomes a little tricky. By verifying someone’s professional background such as their references, education and employment information hiring managers and employers have complete assurance that this individual is capable of the role and can carry out the job in the absence of managers and co-workers.
What seems clear is that the perception of working from home has changed forever, with more companies being open and flexible to this way of working for the long-term, so it may be that many of us will never go back to the office.
If you’re planning to provide the work from home (or partial work from home) option for your employees, find out more about how to verify new employees by getting in touch!