Much has been said about how the remote work setup has changed companies’ workflow during the pandemic.
It was the perfect opportunity to assess which part of the workflow could be done outside the office and which should be done in person. It has also given the companies a chance to cut daily operational expenses, including electricity, equipment, free lunch, and other in-office costs. It also allowed them to come up with a more efficient workflow without the paperwork.
To top it all, it has allowed offices to upgrade to digital technology, which, according to experts, will be the norm even beyond the pandemic. So it made work easier and less complicated. What could be the issues that both employers and employees have to address in the digital world?
It worked both ways
According to a survey conducted by HR company Genius Consultants, more than 73% of employees prefer the hybrid work setup. Half of the employees will work in-house and the other half remotely. The demand is understandable, given that this setup is more convenient to employees who want flexibility.
They have their time in their hands, and they can work anywhere as long as they have a good internet connection. Not to mention they can also work in their pajamas if they want to.
But it’s the companies who benefit the most from this setup. Gone were the days when companies had to keep hundreds of records on their good old shelves throughout the years. Tons of documents that are prone to fire are also now a thing of the past.
Because many workers had to work remotely, file sharing also had to be digital. This meant all data shared within the company had to be shared through digital platforms like e-mails, communication tools, and messaging apps. With this, companies need not manually create digital backups of their documents. Everything is now stored electronically.
And while this system is more efficient, it also brings challenges that companies have to address. Not only data privacy is at risk. The digital world could also take a toll on the mental health of the employees.
How to deal with the digital dangers
Because important data are being shared, companies also had to invest in digital tools that protect data privacy. Some pieces of company information are confidential, and keeping them in your database unprotected can be prone to information theft and other data privacy risks.
This is why companies have to consult with data management experts that can assist on how to securely store files in a hybrid work setup. This is to protect not only the company and the employees but also the clients.
But, the challenge is not only on the part of the employer. It also brings risks on the part of the employees. It’s because, in a digital world, everything is, of course, done digitally, including communication within a workplace.
According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, e-mails sent from last year to this year increased to 40.6 billion. Microsoft Teams virtual meetings also doubled across the world. A virtual meeting these days lasts 10 minutes longer. A worker also sends 45% more chats every week. There is also a 66% increase in the number of people that are dealing with electronic documents. Employees are also always pressured, as 62% of virtual meetings are usually unplanned.
This digital exhaustion is seen in how employees deal with mental health issues, given the pandemic situation. The pressure to keep up with remote work and the anxiety over the pandemic all affect people’s overall well-being.
This is why companies are advised to assess the current virtual workflow. They have to see how to lighten the load for their employees. Mental health training is also helpful in assisting the employees in keeping a work-life balance given the hybrid work setup. Companies also have to develop a communication strategy where HR managers or employers can regularly reach out to and check in on their employees.
As they say, no system is perfect. Even the digital world has its ups and downs. But, coming into post-pandemic, these issues have to be addressed if the hybrid work setup is here to stay. As early as now, companies should already come up with a system that protects their data and employees.
It might need to invest in digital tools to improve data security and communication within the company. Think of it as an investment towards the digital world of efficiency. It will most likely be worth it.