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Remote Work - What We Have Learned?

The Journal Record - Jake Winkler

Feb 15, 2024

We are about three years into the remote work revolution that began during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve learned some valuable lessons in what is working and what isn’t working as a result of this monumental change.

We are about three years into the remote work revolution that began during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve learned some valuable lessons in what is working and what isn’t working as a result of this monumental change. We often see the benefits and challenges from an employee perspective, but what have we learned from this significant shift in the workforce as it relates to ownership and management?


1. Expanded Talent Pool: Remote work allows managers to tap into a broader talent pool since geographical location is no longer a limiting factor in recruitment. Managers can hire the best candidates regardless of their physical location, increasing the diversity and skill set of their teams. This has become especially useful due to labor shortages in various industries like accounting and engineering.

2. Cost Savings: Managing remote teams can lead to significant cost savings for organizations. Without the need for physical office space, managers can reduce expenses related to rent, utilities, maintenance, and office supplies, contributing to overall budget optimization.


1. Monitoring and Accountability: Managers may find it challenging to monitor the performance and progress of remote employees. Without active supervision, it can be difficult to track work hours, assess productivity levels, and provide timely feedback, potentially impacting team performance and project outcomes.

2. Data Security: Employees working remotely often do not have proper security surrounding their home networks. It is also common for them to use public wifi connections at coffee shops, airports, and other public spaces that aren’t properly secured. and is reliant on employees logging in to a VPN before using public wifi. As such, your company’s data is highly vulnerable to various cyber crimes.

3. Maintaining Company Culture and Engagement: Remote work can hinder the development and maintenance of company culture and team cohesion. Virtual team building activities have been largely ineffective in forming bonds between and among coworkers. Replicating the social dynamics and camaraderie of an in-person work environment can be challenging in a remote setting.

New Challenges:

1. Quiet Quitting: "Quiet quitting" refers to the act of leaving a job or position without making a formal announcement or causing disruption. Instead of handing in a resignation letter or discussing departure plans with management, individuals may choose to simply gradually disengage from their responsibilities until they effectively quit without explicitly stating their intention to do so. The act of quiet quitting is more difficult to detect in a remote work environment.

2. Moonlighting: Remote employees may work for competing companies or engage in freelance work during their designated work hours without their employer's knowledge or consent. This can distract employees from their primary job responsibilities and create conflicts of interest.

3. Productivity Manipulation: Remote employees have become very creative in outsmarting monitoring tools implemented by management to ensure employee engagement, including methodsthat allow employees to keep computers active so those monitoring tools don’t detect that the user is inactive.
Navigating these challenges requires proactive management strategies, clear communication channels, the implementation of appropriate technology tools, and a supportive organizational culture that values flexibility and collaboration.

Jake Winkler, CPA, is a partner at Arledge, the largest locally owned accounting firm in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Arledge is a recognized leader in the accounting industry offering practical solutions in the areas of tax planning, auditing, consulting, accounting advisory services and client accounting.
This article contains general information only and does not constitute tax advice or any other professional services. Before making any decisions or taking any action that might affect your income taxes, you should consult a professional tax advisor. This article is not intended for and cannot be used to avoid future penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service.

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