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This post is the first in a blog series exploring ‘work from home’ trends, tools and technologies, and strategies to help enterprise AEC companies empower a remote workforce.
This is a headline that, at this point, isn’t so surprising to see: ‘Microsoft is letting more employees work from home permanently’. A forward-thinking move by Microsoft, yet it’s not the first of its kind. This announcement, and others like it, leads the way into the new reality of how the enterprise works. As companies continue to shift business strategies to drive productivity during the pandemic and beyond, signals show that equipping a remote workforce is a top priority moving forward. For many organizations, this also means investing in a modern technology stack that’ll allow employees to work virtually and collaborate from anywhere.
Microsoft announces a permanent ‘work from home’ policy
More Microsoft employees can now work from home permanently - they can even relocate. Here’s the deal: Microsoft employees can work from home for less than 50 percent of their working week and have flexible working hours. Managers have the authority to approve permanent remote work and part-time hours, although not all roles at the company can work remotely. People can relocate and keep their jobs - compensation will be adjusted based on the company’s “geopay scale” (a common move seen by other enterprise companies with indefinite work from home options).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live, and work in new ways”
- Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer, The Verge
Big tech & more: the new ‘work from home’ norm for enterprise
Microsoft isn’t alone in letting their employees permanently work from home. Big tech was quick to implement working from home in the face of the pandemic. Facebook is already making tens of thousands of jobs remote and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that as many as half of their employees "could work remotely within five to 10 years.” Yet, it’s one thing to see long-term ‘work from home’ policies from tech companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook, it’s another to see the trend shifting on a national, if not global, scale. From Microsoft to REI to Nationwide Insurance, enterprise companies across industries (and across the globe) are implementing extended and permanent work from home policies. These companies are betting on remote work as a long-term business strategy, and they aren’t the only ones.
The growing list of companies with long-term remote work plans is becoming a who’s who of innovators in the corporate business scene. It’s also a clear indication that working from home is no longer for startups and entrepreneurs - it’s found its place in the enterprise. Microsoft may be the first trillion dollar company to make this move, but it likely won’t be the last. More announcements about permanent or indefinite remote work policies prove that changes accelerated by the pandemic will long outlive the pandemic.
The future of enterprise work: empowering a remote workforce
What may humorously be dubbed as a Zoom-demic is, in all seriousness, a time for modern technology to carry companies into the future of work. The enterprise needs to enable teams to work better, remotely - now and later. Even without a pandemic, working remotely has been an upward trend and now it’s seen as desirable by more than just developers and freelancers. In fact, offering remote work opportunities is becoming a lure for top talent, especially in the tech industry. As companies race to attract the best employees, they’re adding new tools and technology to their arsenal to support a growing remote workforce.
When COVID-19 rocked the business world and people were suddenly transported from corporate workplaces to home offices, they needed a pandemic-proof tech stack. Now, companies need to make sure the remote work toolbox is accessible for all. News flash: we need more than Zoom to keep the enterprise remote workforce connected.
How AEC is leveraging immersive technology to thrive in a remote work world
It’s inspiring how the AEC industry is leveraging immersive technology for VR coordination and collaboration - like Prospect by IrisVR - to enable architecture, engineering, and construction teams all over the world to work better in virtual reality. Imagine: an engineer, tasked with reviewing building models before buildout, turns away from his flat computer screen and puts on a VR headset to walk into an immersive building model. In VR, he collaborates with his team to catch costly errors earlier and implement changes faster - all from his home office, if necessary.
Tools and technologies, like enterprise VR, that empower teams to collaborate and drive productivity from anywhere deserve a place in the enterprise tech stack for the long haul. Companies looking for better, more cost-effective ways of doing business now realize that working remotely not only works, but, in many cases, works better.
Curious about how to implement immersive VR technology for a remote enterprise workforce? Let us show you how IrisVR customers drive productivity with VR-powered team coordination and collaboration.