The pandemic has brought innumerable changes to our lives. The global lockdowns not only affected economies but also the world of work. While remote work used to be rare, it has become the recommended setup. Small, midsized, and large companies who used to require their employees to come into the office all found ways to embrace remote ways of doing business.
Instead of holding face-to-face meetings, online meetings and gatherings became the norm. The 9 to 5 crowd were pleasantly surprised to find that appraisals, job interviews, status updates, and catch-ups could all be done virtually without negatively impacting organizations.
With remote work becoming the new normal, employees and employers all over the world are discovering its benefits. Many are left questioning if previous office-based work should be reinstated once the global health crisis ends.
While some are more conservative and less flexible than others on the matter, everyone has an opinion. In this article, we talk about what remote work is, its benefits to employees and employers, how it has evolved, and its future.
Remote work or telecommuting is a working style that gives workers the freedom to work outside of traditional work environments. The concept of remote work is based on the idea that the ability to perform job-related tasks isn’t confined to a specific office or building.
While remote work arrangements were more of an exception and a rarity before the pandemic, the last few years have seen more managers and employers slowly integrate more flexible working conditions for their employees. Such measures include allowing employees to work from home on certain days of the week, implementing 4-day workweeks, and granting flexible working hours.
The global pandemic has forcibly accelerated these changes with the exception of frontline workers who need to continue physically reporting to work to perform their duties.
Remote work allows employees more freedom and more time. Instead of spending time in daily commutes and staying in the office for a fixed number of hours everyday, they can set their own hours, take breaks when necessary, and cut down on costs from commuting and buying meals outside.
Workers who enjoy this flexibility have more time for family, extracurricular activities, and other non-work-related priorities.
Since work isn’t confined to a certain location, it’s easier for them to take vacations, work in places where they feel most productive, and take their job with them wherever they go.
Commuting every day and working long hours in front of a desk without much movement impacts our health. By freeing workers from long commutes and stuffy desk jobs, remote employees can more easily pursue healthier habits.
Whether it’s by going to a gym in between tasks, having more time to prepare healthier home-cooked meals, or just getting up and moving around, such practices are easier to integrate when people don’t need to stay in an office or spend time commuting.
With better work-life balance comes a renewed passion for the job. When employees don’t feel constantly stressed and tired, it’s inevitable that they’ll report to work with greater interest and appreciation.
Since remote work also requires a certain amount of trust between workers and their employers, employees feel more confident and capable of performing their duties.
Lower productivity is one of the primary concerns of employers who are hesitant to shift to a work-from-home arrangement. However, this rationale is contrary to research findings. According to a 2-year study of over 800,000 employees belonging to Fortune 500 companies, most people reported the same or even higher productivity levels when working from home.
Yet another study conducted by Stanford University professor Nicholas Bloom found that remote employees are 13.5% more productive than employees who reported for work. They also took less breaks, less time off, and less sick days.
When employees have more control over their working environment, they can create workplace settings that enable them to perform at their best. Whether it’s loud music, no music, working from a bed, a desk, or a coffee shop, in pajamas or while on a treadmill, it’s up to them.
How much have employers saved in overhead costs since the lockdown started? With employees working from home, employers no longer incur costs like leasing a building, paying electric and water bills among other expenses.
Additionally, many remote workers use their own equipment like laptops and other devices for work. It’s a great cost-saving solution.
This is another misconception that traditional management has about remote work. On the contrary, the same Stanford University study we cited earlier also reports that remote workers are 9% more engaged with their jobs and 50% less likely to resign.
Higher engagement rates among remote workers tie in with the other advantages we mentioned in this article. It follows that if employees have more flexibility, passion, and are healthier, they would naturally be more productive and engaged in their jobs.
Of course, remote or otherwise, engagement still needs some direction and initiatives from management, but there are ways to address the issue if you have a remote setup. The point is a remote workforce doesn’t necessarily mean lower engagement. In fact, it may have the opposite effect and can improve it.
For the most part and before the lockdown, remote work and its benefits were largely untapped, particularly when it came to large corporations. Quarantine and safety measures greatly sped up their rollout of flexible work arrangements.
It probably came as a surprise when 85% of business owners noticed greater operational efficiency among their remote workers.
Additionally, 75% of remote employees stated that the ability to work from home has afforded them better work-life balance.
While not all professions can be done remotely, there are still many office-based jobs where remote arrangements bear exploring. However, if the effectiveness of a remote workforce is measured in terms of engagement, productivity, employee well-being, cost-efficiency, and higher retention rates, then remote work is certainly effective.
Technology has been a catalyst for the growth of remote work. The ability to send and share emails, files, pictures, videos, and other materials instantly has created a borderless workplace where employees and their managers need not sit in the same building, city, or even country in order to work together.
As technology has become cheaper and more accessible for everyone, mobile phones, laptops, imaging technology, and the wide variety of applications have allowed more people to participate in a digital-driven world.
Technology’s pervasiveness has often left us constantly connected to one another and has removed the demarcation between work and non-working hours. This is perhaps more common with remote workers since their managers may work in different time zones or may not have clear or fixed ideas about their working hours.
After the COVID-19 health crisis hit, the number of Americans working from home jumped from 17% to 44%. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has left an indelible mark on the traditional work culture and our concept of work.
The popularity of remote work is expected to continue post-pandemic. In fact, more than half of US employees who are currently working from home expressed the desire to continue with their current work from home arrangements even after the health crisis is resolved.
Upwork, a job site that connects employers with remote freelance workers, predicts that the number of US remote workers will grow to 36.2 million by 2025, an 87% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels.
It’s expected that developments in AI, the release of new tools and equipment, and applications that foster collaboration across distances will continue to drive the growth of remote work opportunities. While it’s impossible to predict the extent to which large traditional companies will adopt work from home practices after the pandemic, it’s clear that remote work is here to stay and will only continue to grow.
5 Top Career Opportunities in Business Management
Presently, in today’s world, there’s a lot of traffic attracted towards careers in the field of business management.
Due to the competition, a degree in business management alone will not be enough to climb the top of the ladder. You also need to gain relative experience and look at the profession from all sides.
Today, with the world becoming so tech-savvy, you can also kick-start your career with the help of various courses online. There are many jobs in business management that ensure that the more skilled and experienced you become, the more you achieve.
Business Management comprises of various career choices to choose from, based on your interest and expertise. If you are someone looking to capitalize on any one of them, enlisted below are 5 top career opportunities in business management:
1. Marketing Manager
A marketing manager’s job is to aid in creating awareness amongst the target audience about the brand as well as the products and services provided by the company. How well a marketing manager performs his/her job is a prerequisite for deciding how well the brand flourishes.
They are the ones responsible for planning and strategizing the company’s business campaigns, supervising the internal teams, making decisions regarding promotions, etc. As a candidate specializing in these areas, you can find jobs in industries like retail, healthcare, hospitality, etc.
You need to have effective leadership qualities and communication skills to do justice to your job as a marketing manager.
2. Financial Manager
Financial managers are responsible for all monetary matters of the business. They come up with effective strategies for the accomplishment of long-term and short-term financial plans. In association with the project and departmental managers, they look after budget planning, allocation of resources, etc.
They make financial reports with precision and elaboration, brainstorm ideas for the procurement of funds, etc. Based on research, employment opportunities for this job are expected to increase by 17% between the years 2020-2030.
A financial manager should have immense expertise in the fields of mathematics, economics, business studies, accounts, etc.
3. Sales Manager
A sales manager manages and supervises the company’s team in the sales department, sets sales targets, and also strives for making the company’s sales reach higher levels. They also need to build strong and lasting relationships with business clients and partners.
Sales managers should be highly qualified in the areas of marketing, business management, business administration, etc. They also require good communication skills, the ability to build the value of team spirit, sales team motivation and cohesion amongst the employees.
After all, an organization cannot smoothly function without the cooperation of all the people working in it.
4. Computer and Information Systems Manager
Also known as an IT manager, a computer and information systems manager is required to look after all the technological and computer-related aspects for taking the company forward. They work together with important executives of the company to look after their IT requirements.
After devising the strategies and provisions, the IT managers set goals to achieve the hardware and software-related plans of the company.
Being an IT manager, one must be well-versed with all the latest technological advancements and also with topics such as cybersecurity, software development, etc.
5. Human Resources Manager
They are responsible for managing and looking after the human resources i.e., the employees of the company. They act as the bridge between the people in authoritative positions in the company and the staff and employees.
An HR manager works in association with the executives of the company and lays out strategies and plans for recruiting and interviewing new people. They also help in boosting the performance and the working spirit of the employees, supervise their performances, make new and effective HR policies, etc.
An HR manager shouldn’t just be a person with effective communication skills but must also be a good listener and negotiator.
A degree in business management enables you for a promising career in this field which is applicable to any sector. So, based on your preferences, skills, and expertise, you can choose wisely among any one of the above-mentioned careers.
Top 8 Job-Oriented Courses to Consider In 2022
After the world was crippled with the coronavirus, most people lost their jobs and businesses. It became essential for people to search for job-oriented courses that lead to a definite career path after obtaining a degree.
While the most famous courses are medicine and engineering, there are many other job-oriented fields that will guarantee you a rewarding career.
If you’re someone living in Australia or planning to shift there, this list is specially designed for you! Read on to know more.
Accountancy is a job that has a good demand almost everywhere. Both core accountancy, as well as professional accountancy, are in high demand in Australia.
For example, positions like tax accountants and management accountants are being advertised largely.
This is also a very good prospect if you’re interested in a bit of mathematics mixed with history or engineering.
Australia being a country that has both urban and rural populations requires a large number of architects. You can sign up for courses like landscape architecture if you wish to work away from urban life.
3. Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical engineering or bioengineering is a fast-developing field all over the world. You can be sure to bag a good job if you pursue this field. It is an applied field of biology and engineering, as the name suggests, and has lucrative careers in the healthcare, environmental, and engineering sectors.
The main job here is to develop devices to help cure ailments or reduce health problems. As a biomedical engineer, you’ll need to have a good grasp of biology as well as the basics of engineering. So if you’re someone who loves both, this job is just right for you!
In today’s gen, people want to look beautiful and desirable for time immemorial. To capitalize on that, cosmetology offers amazing job opportunities.
The Cosmetic Professional Development Institute of Australia https://cpdinstitute.com.au/ gives training to students interested in techniques like cosmetic injectable courses, dermal filler training, and PRP treatments.
In 2020, the market revenue for skincare and cosmetology in Australia was $3.73 billion. Now the number already tells you the bright future of this industry!
5. Earth Sciences
Earth sciences and its related fields refer to mining, oil and gas engineering, and geology to name a few. Being surrounded by sea everywhere, oil and gas engineering has a lot of scope in Australia.
This country has large reserves of coal, uranium, and natural gas, which leads to such a big industry of gas engineering. In the case of geology, geologists can be easily employed in the renewable energy sector.
No matter where you are in the world, a large chunk of the population is bound to suffer from mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, or ADHD.
Thus, psychology is an ever-growing course where you’ll get a good job in a reputed counseling organization.
You can choose from various fields like clinical psychology, educational psychology, or psychotherapy. From counseling sessions to motivational shows, psychologists have a good chance of achieving secure jobs.
Which country doesn’t need teachers? No matter which subject you choose, there will always be a need for teachers who will be able to impart their knowledge and train children for the future.
From History and Geography to Physics and Chemistry, you can teach any subject you wish to. Pre-school and primary school teachers are especially in high demand now, right after the pandemic.
8. Tourism and Hospitality Management
Australia is a country known for its natural and man-made beauty. Millions of tourists spend their days here, enjoying and exploring various sceneries. So it comes as no wonder that tourism and hospitality play important roles in the country’s development.
Tour guides in Australia earn a decent amount of money, especially now that tourism has resumed after a long halt due to the pandemic. Even hotel management is a good option here.
According to the Tourism and Hospitality Careers report in 2016, Australia required around 123,000 new employees, including 60,000 skilled staff by 2020. So go for this option if you love traveling and exploring!
Here are some of the best job-oriented courses you can take up in Australia for a safe and secure future. If you’ve find your sweet-spot, start applying now!
How to Make Your Office Look Big: 6 Spacious Tips
Almost ⅓ of a person’s life is spent in the workplace. Thus, it is important to make the office as comfortable as possible so that every employee feels good to be there and works with increased productivity. Having a spacious office is one of the best ways to do that.
Most office spaces have to manage with a small area. However, there are several ways in which you can effectively make your workplace seem bigger than it is:
1. Use Light Colors
Colors have a massive impact on the look and feel of a space. Adding bold colors can make your office look attractive but they tend to make the space look smaller. Lighter colors like white, on the other hand, give the appearance that the space is larger.
Moreover, they offer a soothing and comfortable environment where employees can focus properly. You should also keep the color palette simple. Adding a lot of different colors and patterns can be distracting and also make your office feel clustered.
2. Add Mirrors
One of the best ways to make your office space look bigger is to place several mirrors. Wall-length mirrors at the far end of your office floor will be the best choice.
Mirrors reflect light and make the space look brighter and bigger. You can also place decorative mirrors along the pathways.
Make sure to keep things simple and not use too many different designs or you will risk making your space feel cluttered rather than spacious.
3. Keep Designs Symmetrical
A lot of offices are opting for having different designs of furniture to get a unique look to their space. However, contrasting furniture and designs can make the office feel smaller and chaotic.
It is always great to opt for similar desks and chairs for everyone. Follow a similar design and paint theme for everyplace in the office.
Symmetry is easier for the eyes and reduces the chaotic feelings that come with having multiple contrasting things in the same room. With one look across the floor, you feel a sense of calm as everything seems to follow a similar pattern and it will also make the space feel bigger and cleaner.
4. Don’t Clutter the Middle of the Rroom
It can be tempting to add massive furniture as a statement piece in the middle of the floor. After all, at first glance, it enhances the look of the space and makes it appear bigger than it is.
However, eventually, big pieces of furniture that don’t have much use will end up making your office look smaller and more clustered than it actually is.
Instead of going for something big, you should have a practical approach and add pieces that enhance productivity and save space at the same time.
5. Choose Shades Over Curtains.
Curtains are a classic design choice and are great for improving the look of a room. However, having several curtains in your office can become distracting and also take up a little more space- reducing the area where you can work properly.
Using shades instead of curtains is a practical choice that will add a modern touch to your office floor while also ensuring that you save as much space as possible.
You must remember to stick to light-colored shades with simple patterns otherwise they won’t give your space a bigger look.
6. Make Use of Lighting
Lighting plays an important role in determining the perceived size of a space. If your office is not properly illuminated and has a dull appearance, it will feel smaller. You must keep your office well-lit and add multiple sources of lights that make every corner appear brighter.
Using several small light sources instead of a few bulky ones will make your space look more stylish while ensuring that the entire area is properly illuminated. You can place lights strategically behind cupboards and pieces of furniture.
Also, make it a point to utilize as much natural light as possible. Keeping the shades open during the day and letting bright sunshine enter your office is a great way to make it feel bigger.
Following these tips will allow you to make your office feel more spacious. A spacious office will offer more comfort and focus. Other than that, you can also reward your employees with some Office Choice stationery as a token of growth on New Year or something fun on Christmas!
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