Remote Work: How much does it really contribute to People Development & Company Growth?

By Dr. Evangelia Fassoula and George Dalianis*

Since 2020, when COVID19 Pandemic broke out and introduced new parameters in almost all aspects of social life and, subsequently, in the work sector, the issue of Remote Work has alternately been a point of reflection for employees and businesses, a point of contention, and a field of negotiation. During the Pandemic, it was evidently a realistic and efficient solution that allowed businesses to continue operating while ensuring, as much as possible, the health protection of employees. However, this work model, which was extensively applied out of necessity, is now increasingly becoming a choice.

The dominant question is to what extent Remote Work truly aids the development of people and businesses. Globally, scientific research is being conducted by universities, relevant research centres, and large multinational companies on this issue, proving both its complexity and the many different parameters that affect it, as well as that it is a work practice that is here to stay.

Focusing our concern on new entrants into the labour market, we see, as evidenced by relevant studies, that there are both advantages and challenges in the application of Remote Work. The main advantage for new entrants is that they have the opportunity to seek jobs in different regions of Greece and abroad without needing to change their place of residence. This flexibility can expand their professional opportunities, depending of course on the nature of their work. However :

  • Remote Work can limit opportunities for direct communication with their supervisors and more experienced colleagues, potentially delaying their learning and familiarization with the subject. New employees need more guidance and feedback, actions that are critically enhanced in their effectiveness by face-to-face interaction.
  • The lack of physical presence in the workplace limits opportunities for networking, relationship development, and team spirit with colleagues. New employees may feel isolated and struggle to integrate into the company culture.
  • Effective Remote Work requires a high level of self-discipline and time management skills, which are difficult to develop, for a new employee, when starting their career without being physically present in their workplace.

Broadening the discussion beyond new employees, we can say that the advantage of flexibility regarding the choice of workplace relative to the employee’s place of residence, along with the fact that employees working from home can save time and money on commuting, which can lead to better work-life balance, are the main benefits of remote work for employees. According to a study by the Labor Institute of GSEE, Remote Work has helped many employees improve their productivity and job satisfaction.

Considering the undeniable value of cultivating team spirit, open and direct communication, and feedback for the development of performance and professional skills for all employees, especially new ones, we should approach the choice of Remote Work with particular care. As stated in the conclusions of many studies, face-to-face interaction and collaboration cannot be fully replaced by the online environment.

The solution of implementing the hybrid work model, which many companies adopt, seems to balance things out, provided it is well-framed and organized. The following points are worth considering:

  1. Creating a Dedicated Workspace: A dedicated workspace at home can enhance productivity and help maintain a balance between professional and personal life. Creating a comfortable and organized space can help improve focus and performance.
  2. Establishing a Fixed Schedule for Remote and On-site Work: Setting and implementing a fixed schedule for days that combine remote and on-site work helps maintain rhythm and contributes to the balance between work and personal life.
  3. Use of Time Management Tools: The use of such tools can help manage projects and timelines, as well as facilitate communication among team members. These tools provide structured platforms for tracking tasks and deadlines.
  4. Participation in Online Communities: Participating in professional networks and online communities can help develop professional relationships and gain new knowledge. Tools like LinkedIn and platforms for professional groups can facilitate networking and knowledge exchange.

In conclusion, both Remote Work and the Hybrid Work model represent a modern work reality whose performance and value depend on how they are applied. Through proper planning, mutual understanding between employees and businesses, and a focus on performance for all, these tools can contribute to development.

Dr. Evangelia Fassoula is the President, Managing Director and Partner of EVERGROW SA(a Recruiting and HRM agency), a company-member of ARTION GROUP.  

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