Here are the most interesting bits of news in the world of remote working from the past week. Be sure to follow us to stay up-to-date with everything remote working!
Major companies are now providing remote working perks
From corporate chefs to office celebrations, numerous companies are transitioning their in-office benefits to also being applicable working from home.
Consulting firm EY for instance has gotten creative with what used to be office outings, parties and team building activities. They will now have virtual activities and parties, including a plan to celebrate Diwali through Zoom.
IT giants Google and Cisco have added compensation perks in the range of $300-$1000 in order for employees to buy home office equipment, while other companies shift to online workshops and time off modifications.
Remote working has proven to be a thorn in the side of Microsoft Active Directory
Many businesses that run Microsoft Active Directory (AD) as their authentication and identity management system have found that the service has struggled under the new remote landscape.
One major reason is that AD was launched to simplify the access between Microsoft business applications, Windows servers, and desktops. But this is now complicated by the fact that employees are working remotely with non-Microsoft devices.
Couple that with the shift to cloud solutions like Slack, Salesforce and Zoom, and IT admins are finding that this scenario, among others, creates headaches when accessing management with AD.
Is remote work proving to be the strongest case in support of globalization?
International companies with offices all over the world are starting to feel more connected as a result of working online.
Nasdaq’s European operations for example, which consists of 230 employees in half a dozen cities, shifted to online check-ins and virtual meetings as a result of the pandemic. Meetings of five people in an office have now exponentially increased online, causing employees to feel more included and seen.
Gunilla Hellqvist, head of the European operations in Stockholm, has been pleased with this employee satisfaction. So can remote work help globalization naysayers feel more comfortable with it?
Bay Area companies call for a remote work mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
San Francisco’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission has moved forward with a plan for workers to remain at home to combat climate change.
In a twist of fate brought on by the pandemic, working from home has created numerous benefits for climate change, including a decrease in gas-guzzling commutes. For that reason, the mandate was voted on by the commission as part of the Plan Bay Area Blueprint for 2050 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion.
It would require employers to keep 60% of their workers home each work day, among other strategies to curb climate change.
Remote working has created a tax dilemma for some multi-state workers
New Hampshire and Massachusetts are at loggerheads regarding whether or not New Hampshire residents should incur Massachusetts income tax while working from home for Massachusetts-based companies.
Massachusetts’ stance is that workers who performed services in Massachusetts during the Covid-19 state of emergency, but are now working from home in New Hampshire, should still pay income taxes to Massachusetts. New Hampshire, on the other hand, disagrees as they don’t even have an income tax.
Is remote working decreasing the amount of inner city office rentals?
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, has seen that the combination of remote working and businesses downsizing has resulted in an increase in vacant office spaces.
This is a stark difference from January where office rentals were scarce. Now Wellington’s office real estate has seen a jump to 30,000 square metres of available spaces in the city. This has caused real estate firms to struggle with the unpredictability of the effects of the pandemic.
Jobs that rely on bustling business districts are suffering from the shift to remote work
Not every business can thrive in this work-from-home new normal created by Covid. Many small businesses that benefited from the office ecosystem, such as the dry-cleaners, convenience stores, and coffee shops have been hurt by offices shutting down.
This has created an uneven road to recovery amongst businesses. Industries and jobs that are directly linked to an office, such as janitorial services, office equipment rentals, jobs in parking lots and parking garages, are also having a slower time rebounding from the shutdowns.
Is working from home the start of a dramatic shift to a permanent way of life?
Working from home is proving to be an eye opening event for many who now realize they should make changes to how they were working pre-pandemic.
YoKo Village, a Costa Rican coworking community, has found that the increasing demand for work-from-home positions has led to a mass exodus from big cities. Workers have discovered that they can keep their job or explore online opportunities while living somewhere smaller and less stressful.
A report from USA Today observed that there has been an increase in niche buys like premium backyard sheds that can be converted into a home-office space.
Other interesting signs indicate that many hope to make working from home a permanent part of their work life.