Many found themselves overnight changing their daily commute from their office to their kitchen table. COVID-19 has affected the way we work and function on a daily basis, making remote working more popular than ever. Let’s talk about some of the factors involved in remote working.  

Remote working and Virtual Selling 

Do you think virtual selling will increase or decrease your industry’s sales? 

Sales professionals who thrive off face to face interaction with their customers are now faced with virtual selling. Virtual selling can affect each industry differently. Certain industries that are not so technically savvy are not able to sell at the rate and efficiency that they did before. In order to do this, it is going to take a whole new development of both how to virtual sell and then how to master it. Anyone can turn on their camera and talk, the problem lies in swaying the conversation to a sale. People could be more likely to say no over a screen vs in person.

Remote working and New Grads & Training

Are there longterm effects of growing as a sales professional without learning with the team? 

The training wheels are off, it is time for new graduates to get out into the real world and put into practice the skills they have been learning for the past 4 years. Then boom, COVID-19 changes the playing field. The new grad facts remote training which puts a whole different spin on things. Those first few weeks are crucial in developing and molding the new employee so that he can become the best possible version of himself. Remote working takes away the social interaction that is needed for the new employee to feel comfortable in his new position and with his co-workers. And perhaps more importantly it lengthens his learning curve. Also, the new employee may feel more stress realizing he is being evaluated while being trained remotely. Going forward this could affect how the employee feels about his work. 

Remote working and Communication & Collaboration

Will your creativity be stunted by virtual communication? 

Communication is a key to success. With remote working, it is still so important to be in constant communication with others in the company. The State of Remote Work reported in 2018 that loneliness was named the biggest challenge for remote employees. Loneliness and isolation can have negative effects on an employee’s mental health, resulting in reduced performance. Checking in with other colleagues may limit the feeling of isolation, depression and anxiety in the work day. Whether through Google Chat, Slack, Zoom, or Google Hangouts, it is important to stay in virtual touch. And employers should allow time for some personal conversation that does not directly relate to work since not being in the same physical space affects the synergy brought to the table when collaborating. Employers should do something to offset this deficiency, such as more corporate events or retreats so that remote workers maintain a strong connection with each other.

Remote working and Productivity 

With more time, will remote work boost your productivity? 

The kids are yelling, the dogs are barking, did that neighbor order ANOTHER Amazon package? Remote working can be distracting, yet productive. Business News Daily published that according to one study, remote employees work 1.4 more days per month than their office-based counterparts, resulting in more than three additional weeks of work per year. With no micromanaging, remote workers may feel more pressure to produce. Although physical monitoring is out of the picture, there is software such as ActivTrak that tracks productivity to ensure that remote workers are progressing in an appropriate manner. 

Future and Thoughts 

 Some companies are now working from home forever. Twitter, Shopify and Square have announced that employees can work from home post pandemic. With working from home potentially becoming the new norm, what does this mean for the future of business? Prompt consideration of the factors and affects mentioned above will give employers an advantage in the short-term and help them truly master remote working in the long-term.