Between 2005 and 2017, the number of Americans working remotely increased by an astounding 159%. Three years later, that number increased again, from 3.9 million U.S. workers to 4.7 million, according to an analysis by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics.
And now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s estimated that 56% of the U.S. workforce, which is made up of 157 million people, is now working remotely following stay-at-home orders in nearly every state.
Remote working is now the norm and industry experts don’t expect that to change, even after the virus calms down. A recent Gartner survey that polled 229 human resources leaders showed more than 40% of employees are likely to work outside the office for at least part of the time. Of course, employers will need to weigh the positives of the flexibility offered by remote working against the cons, like drops in productivity, constant distractions or even the creation of bad cultures.
It’s that future of remote-work life that has kept Tyler Bogart, vice president of business development at Logic Integration, motivated to help his clients, residential developers and employers understand how to best make it all work.
“It seems like more companies aren’t really struggling from the tech side so much as they are from the ‘how’ side,” Bogart said. “We need to be talking about how to have a good video conference, how are we fostering a productive mindset and how are we working from home.
“We know the tools to get there, but we need that right mindset.”
Logic Integration is a Denver-based commercial and residential audio-visual company that specializes in projects from state-of-the-art home theater systems and smart-home systems for new high-rise condo developments to business collaboration solutions and corporate meeting rooms going up across the country. Founded out of a minivan in 2003 by its CEO Shawn Hansson, the company has grown to a multi-million-dollar firm with business in nearly every state, plus some international projects.
Hansson’s Logic Integration team has been busy during this pandemic, guiding clients toward how to best work remotely. Here are some of the topics of conversation they’re having:
If connectivity has been spotty, one of the first things people should do is call their internet service provider and find out two things. One, are they receiving the fastest possible speeds, or are they stuck in a plan that caps out at a certain bandwidth? If it’s been awhile since they’ve updated their cable or internet plan, they might be surprised what’s available. And two, if they’re using a router and modem provided by the internet company, they need to find out how old those devices are. “If your wireless router is five to eight years old, it’s going to perform like a five- to eight-year-old computer,” Bogart said.
The look and feel of your office
Logic Integration works with real estate teams, like Denver High-Rise Living, to educate brokers on how they can best help clients who are looking for a new condo or house that provides a suitable work-from-home space. The acoustics of a room, for instance, can be a nightmare for a Zoom call. A room with too many hard surfaces can’t have its echoey acoustics improved — even with the most expensive of microphone.
The same goes for lighting. You don’t want to be sitting with a window to your back because the camera you’re using for those video calls will adjust its exposure for that window, turning you into a silhouette. “Room lighting is so important,” Bogart says. “I think future homebuyers are going to be more conscious about having a home office space and what it looks like.
Remote work etiquette
No single piece of technology is going to block out that noisy neighbor, your dog barking at the mailman or your two-year-old throwing toys across the room. That comes down to user responsibility.
There are little things you can do to ensure your tech is working for you.
Camera placement, for example, should make you look like a newscaster, Bogart said. No one wants to look up your nose during an hour-long meeting. Invest in a decent headset or headphones, like Apple AirPods if you are an Apple user, which are not only wireless, but offer great sound and microphone quality. And make sure to mute your microphone when not talking! A little tip from the Logic team: You can hold your spacebar on a Zoom meeting to temporarily unmute yourself for a quick response. It will mute again once you let go of spacebar.
Logic Integration can certainly help with video conference etiquette, but the company’s passion lies in building relationships and providing top-of-the-line tech services that help make lives easier. That could mean making sure your wireless router is strong enough to cut through all of the other wireless signals in a condo building. Or figuring out how to hard-wire your laptop into an internet connection to ensure the fastest possible speeds. It could be installing motorized blinds to improve the overall lighting in an office.
Logic Integration has experience with all major video conference platforms, from Zoom to Microsoft Teams to WebEx. Visit their site for more remote-work-life help during this pandemic.
This is sponsored content. The advertiser paid a fee to promote this article and may have influenced or authored the content.