In April 2020, around half of all companies reported that more than 80% of their employees were working from home due to Covid-19. With restrictions ending all over the world, companies wonder what is next? Some of them want to have their personell back in the offices. But there's a considerable push from employees to continue to work remotely. We think that remote work is here to stay, and many people never go back to work.
Digital technology became a key component of modern business life. Any organization that wants to stay ahead of the curve must now embrace digital transformation. This drives the demand for technology workers wich is higher than ever before. So to keep you tech workers (and others happy) companies must embrace a world that relies on technology for basic functions.
How technology will sustain remote work in 2022
According to a Gartner survey, 69% of boards of director accelerated digital transformation due to Covid-19, and this trend will not fade anytime soon. In fact, organizations are focusing on contactless services (60.1%), moving to the Cloud (52.25%), or on DevOps activities (51.75%).
Based on this we can extrapolate some key software development trends for 2022:
1. The Cloud will be more important than ever
In 2022, the Cloud will play a greater role in technology than ever before in software development. Everything that can move to the Cloud will be moved there.
Consider, for example, how a new developer is onboarded at a company. They may spend several weeks trying to get everything to work on their local machine. This can be very time-consuming for both the new hire and for any other engineers who are needed to help.
Most automated builds, staging environments and production applications are now in the Cloud. Next are local software development environments: they will also move to the cloud.
Microsoft and Amazon are already working together on this. In 2021, both companies released solutions (GitHub codespaces by Microsoft and AWS cloud9 by Amazon), that allow software development environments to be accessed on browsers within seconds.
2. DevOps are more important than ever
Google's DORA conducted research that showed "elite engineering organizations" are twice as likely achieve their organizational goals, and have a 50% higher rate of growth over three years.
Teams must ensure that their tools and processes are as efficient as possible to speed up the delivery of new functionality and reduce bottlenecks. This is why DevOps is so important.
3. AI-assisted Software Development
We've already seen AI start to appear in software development tools by 2021. GitHub Copilot and IBM AI For Code are just a few of the innovations that point towards AI-assisted programming.
Forrester expects AI bots in almost all software development tools by 2022, adding natural language and other capabilities.
4. Rise of low-code platforms
Low-code platforms were deemed "extraordinarily disruptive" by Forbes in 2017. This trend has continued and low-code platform applications are expected be the largest share of the low-code technology market through 2022. Gartner forecasts an increase of nearly 30% from 2020, reaching $5.8 million by 2021. And by 2024, low-code software development will account for more than 65% of all application development.
What can companies do to support remote workers?
"The new normal" will be here for good. What does this mean for employees and employers? Studies show that remote workers with positive experiences in their work are 28% more productive. Companies that offer a high-quality remote employee experience have a 25% increase in profits and 37% less turnover.
Although the numbers may seem optimistic, they are only applicable if remote work is made a priority and done well. How can this be accomplished?
Tips for managing the work load of teams
Remote work presents many challenges that can be intensified by the same struggles employees and employers have faced in the past. Research shows 71% of workers experienced work-related burnout. 87% were forced to work longer hours.
But burnout is not a problem that can be solved by individuals alone. Burnout can lead to psychological and physical problems that costs the US an estimated $125- $190 billion in healthcare. The decrease in productivity and high turnover rates can lead to a loss of talent within an organization. The most significant cost is the well-being of your employees.
Companies must master the art of managing their workload to combat this. This is not about making sure that your employees don't get too much work. It's mainly about distributing work strategically among your team to maximize productivity, recognize individual strengths and acknowledge the weaknesses of each member. These are some ways to put it into action:
1. Define priorities
Employees who don't know the urgency of tasks won't be able to manage their time and make informed decisions about prioritizing work. This will help employees know if they're on track and give them a guideline.
2. Make a schedule
The 9-5 job is gone. Most companies now allow employees to set their own work hours. This allows people to fit work into their daily lives rather than vice versa.
This can lead to stress and work load imbalances among team members. This could lead to more work for some members if there are not enough people working together at the same time.
Analyze the company's needs and organize people's work schedules, while still allowing for flexibility. This will ensure that flexibility doesn’t compromise productivity or create a healthy balance among team members.
3. Keep people informed
It is crucial to keep information accessible, especially in remote locations. Remote workers cannot just chat at the coffee machine, or stumble upon each other in the corridors. You must make an effort to ensure that everyone knows what they need.
4. Keep open and constant communication
Continue the discussion by ensuring that everyone has the information they require. Everything will run faster and more smoothly when they do. You might consider holding regular meetings so that people can share information with their teams and with the whole organization.
Keep communication channels open to the other side. Your employees should feel comfortable expressing their opinions and feelings. The study found that 74% employees feel more productive when they feel heard.
You can promote healthy work habits and happier employees, which will result in more productivity and more willingness to contribute to the company’s success.
How employees can improve work-life balance
While companies play a significant role in employee well-being, employees must also play their part. In early 2021, the American Psychiatric Association conducted an internet survey of remote workers. These findings were troubling: "The majority of employees who work from home report negative mental health effects, including loneliness, isolation, and difficulty leaving work at night behind."
You need to take care of your mental and physical health if you work remotely or in a hybrid fashion. The recommendations made at the start of the pandemic are still valid and important. This is especially true as you get tired from years and months of remote work. Here are some things to remember when working remotely:
1. Create a Proper Home Office Setting
You don't have to work from your couch or bed. You can designate one space in your house as your home office and treat it accordingly. You will need a desk and a chair that is comfortable, as well as natural light.
2. Use quality technology
Many companies have provided funding for employees to furnish their own working spaces as a result of the widespread adoption of remote work. This funding is available to employees who wish to have the best possible working environment. It might be worthwhile to raise the issue with HR if your company does not offer support.
3. Keep consistent working hours
Remote work is often a great option because it allows for flexible work hours, but be aware that you could lose your entire day to work if there's no schedule.
You can make use of the flexibility to drop your children off at school or go to a doctor's visit, but don't let it interfere with your work hours. Otherwise, you'll feel like you're always on duty.
4. Get enough sleep and eat well
You must ensure that your body gets enough rest and nutrition. It's easy for people to fall into unhealthy routines while working remotely. These habits can have a negative impact on productivity and your overall well-being.
5. Move your body
It's easy to complete work during times of pandemics, and continue to sit at your desk and stare at a screen for the rest of the day.
But the human body wasn't designed to sit around all day. It was designed to move, stimulate, and interact with other people. Take breaks when you are working and take a break for lunch. You can even go on a walk during lunch. Get your body moving after work. Move your body by going out and doing some sport or yoga. This will help you stretch your muscles and relieve pain caused by poor posture.
If you follow these recommendations, you take an important step for you and your team. Making sure that things work remotely and keep employees in the loop is key while balancing between work and personal time.
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