Top 5 key benefits of remote working in the Nordic countries

 

Nine months of remote working has led to the emergence of both new cultures at work and different ways of relating to colleagues. 

 

 Research from the World Economic Forum pointed out that it was a total of 48% of the global workforce who overnight, had to begin working from home in the wake of COVID-19 lock-downs in countries.

 

The concept of working from home is far from new. Businesses have been discussing the concept for more than a decade but for many it has been difficult to move from the head quarter centric approach, and many business decision makers  have had a feeling that the traditional boardroom culture was discouraging to the concept of remote working.

  

During these past nine months of working from home, new work cultures and key business benefits have started to emerge and for many this has been a wake-up call. Why? Because remote working provides clear business benefits. Workers are shown to be more productive than when in an office and many are more focused when working from home!  This element of digital transformation is now a reality and is proving what many people already knew: work no longer equals the office.

 

VMware has carried out a survey specific for the Nordic countries  - A report analyzing organizational shifts in response to COVID-19. The result shows some well known benefits and a few surprises in busting Remote Work myths. 


What are the 5 key benefits of remote working in Nordic countries that we can see emerge from 2020?

  1. Research shows that knowledge workers are more productive from home and are able to focus more on the work that really matters. Pre-pandemic, knowledge workers spent two thirds of their time in meetings or doing desk-based work. The daily distractions are fewer and less time is spent attending large meetings and they are instead interacting with customers and external partners.
  2. Remote Work creates more inclusive and diverse workplaces. Remote work options are helping recruit and retain talent which otherwise companies may not have been able to employ: working parents, minority candidates, employees with disabilities and candidates living outside major economic hubs.

    (76%) of employees feel greater personal connections with colleagues as a result of remote working. Throughout the year we’ve had a rare look into each other’s homes. We’ve seen our managers in their living rooms and we’ve seen our colleagues’ family members in the backgrounds of video calls. We’ve probably got to know more about the personal lives of people we regularly interact with than ever before, leading to new conversations and deeper forms of relationships between colleagues. 57% of respondents in Sweden say that collaboration has either increased or stayed the same. And high-performing companies are more likely to say collaboration has increased.
  3. Another key outcome of the distributed workforce model has been the shift from an HQ-centric mindset to a better integration of satellite offices and teams. After all, when no one is at the center of the action, everyone can be part of the action. 74 % in Sweden  experiences that employees in regional/satellite teams feel more empowered to make decisions
  4. New ideas now get heard: 62% of workers in Sweden feel more empowered to speak up in video conference meetings than in person.

When it comes to running your business post pandemic, there is no one size fits all when it comes to policies around distributed working. Businesses cannot assume that the same approach will work for everyone, from graduate recruits to seasoned management and from introverts to extroverts. The most important finding from 2020 is there should now be flexibility and freedom to choose how to best manage your work life. The technology has long been there and now companies will have the mindset to embrace and adopt it after seeing the business benefits.

 

 

Read the full report “The New Remote Work Era: Trends in the Distributed Workforce” 

 

[1] 2020 Foresight: Managing an ‘anywhere’ workforce, VMware