Whilst many people made the move to remote working after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, now with lives starting to return to normal, will we see remote workers get left behind?

Without the data, it’s hard to predict whether a gap will appear between those that work in the traditional office setting and those that choose to remain working from home – but business figureheads and companies are warning that those who permanently move to a hybrid or remote way of working may get left behind.

Just as the misconception that working parents who have to duck out for the school run or work 4 days a week instead of 5 are often seen as less committed to their jobs, the same could become of remote workers – with office dwellers being more present, it could be that they are offered more opportunity, get a say in decision making and over time have access to better perks, benefits and advantages than those that are participating virtually.

How can we overcome this happening?

A shift in the way people work has happened due to the pandemic, and for a lot of people there is no ‘returning to normal.’ Many employees found a better work/life balance whilst working at home, whilst others found that working remotely meant they were able to be more present and flexible when it came to family and/or household responsibilities. 

When the pandemic first hit, the first worry for many business owners was over productivity. Would employees work as well remotely, and would the cogs keep turning smoothly? Well, it was proven within the first few months of the pandemic that rather than seeing a decrease in productivity, there was a significant increase with the typical workday becoming longer on average too!

So whilst we know that remote workers are in no way ‘slacking’ or ‘skiving’ from their work, there are a few things that workplaces in particular need to make sure they do to discourage a gap appearing between the two types of worker. 

Better communication

With many people switching to Zoom, Teams and Hangouts to communicate about work during the height of the pandemic – this is very much here to stay, particularly for those working remotely full-time. It is entirely possible for someone working from home to be ‘present’ at every meeting and catch up, simply by sending them a virtual invite and making sure that you touch base with them on a regular basis.

Keeping people in the loop

Having regularly scheduled team or business-wide meetings are a great idea to keep everyone in the loop. Sharing successes, company announcements and welcoming new starters could all be on the agenda for a weekly, or bi-weekly, meeting to keep everyone up to date with what is going on at the company.

Whilst it’ll take time to collate the data as to whether the effects of the pandemic easing will have a negative effect on remote workers and their contribution to a company, it could easily be planned and prepared for – to attempt to reduce the changes or remote workers being left behind.

What do you think?