The way in which people work has changed significantly in the past few years, evolving from a system of work, in which structure and a clear hierarchy within the workplace were the accepted business model, to one that is moving towards greater independence and flexibility for the individual. The advances in technology have, of course, led to this movement, as well as a greater demand and recognition of the individual within the workforce.
More companies than ever are allowing, and even encouraging their employees to work from home which has impacted the way in which business is run and has led to a complete shift in the traditional hierarchy of a company. The reasons that remote work is so popular amongst individuals is due to many factors, some of which have been outlined below.
Photo source- Pixabay
1- Why is remote work so popular amongst employers and employees alike?
Being able to work from anywhere in the world
This is one of the biggest reasons people choose to work remotely. Young people are attracted to this form of working as it allows them to travel and live the lifestyle that they want while still having job security. Many people work and travel at the same time, and this is linked to the financial security that has enabled people to travel, often indefinitely, rather than having to save up money beforehand. While this might seem liksofte a positive for younger workers, this also benefits employers who might be reluctant to hire young employees. The fact that there is a higher turnaround of staff within this age bracket means that employees see younger staff as unreliable. However, with remote work, the increased flexibility permits a good work-life balance for young workers and reduces the likelihood of them moving on from one job to another.
The benefit of remote work is that it allows night owls to work comfortably, and also allows early birds to start as soon as they want. What is quite clear about the 9-5 working day, is that it does not cater to everyone’s individual working patterns. Remote working increases flexibility, and allows people to work at their own pace and comfort level, which in turn increases productivity.
The financial benefits of remote work for both employees and employers alike is a reason for its popularity and increase in the past few years. Not having to have an office space for employees makes this type of work incredibly attractive to business owners, as well as cutting the costs of resources and benefits within the office. For remote workers, the savings made are quite significant. For example, transport, office clothes, as well as time spent commuting into work are costs that are reduced or indeed, completely eliminated through remote work.
2- How Is Remote Working Carried Out?
Cloud technology has changed the way in which businesses operate, and along with the internet, is one of the biggest reasons why people are able to work from around the globe. Cloud-based technologies, including apps and storage space, allow individuals to communicate, share information and produce content using a range of electronic devices such as tablets, laptops and mobile phones. With people, able to work with the tools that they need from anywhere in the world, it is increasingly easy to mimic and indeed improve upon, the office environment and its function.
Despite the fact that there is a slight increase in security risk with remote working, this is more to do with the fact that there is a danger of having laptops or electronic devices stolen, broken or lost, which would also occur in an office environment. Technology allows the individual, or the company, to set up software or cloud storage securely rather than relying on hardware or physical paperwork.
Photo source- Flickr
Teleconferencing and Videoconferencing
While there is a greater degree of autonomy and independent work carried out by remote workers, there is usually a need for meetings and conferences to take place, either on a regular or occasional basis. In order to facilitate these meetings, most people make use of teleconferencing and videoconferencing services. Teleconferencing can often be an expensive service, and in order to avoid the cost of international fees, with people who work in different countries, an option is to use VoIP, or voice-over-IP which is a system which allows phone calls to be made using the internet. This is far cheaper than analog business phone systems, and making use of services that provide unlimited calls, such as the service provider Truewater, will enable a business to make regular calls and conduct meetings when they need to. Video conferencing also uses a similar method and makes use of the internet to enable interactions between colleagues and staff. One of the additional benefits of teleconferencing and videoconferencing is that it allows employees to have meetings and interact with their staff on a much more personal level and maintain the unity and sense of teamwork that could potentially be limited due to the nature of remote work.
3- The Future Of Remote Work
With the popularity of remote work continuing to increase, this form of working will most likely take over the standard 9-5 office job, if not entirely then to a significant degree. According to a survey conducted by the Global Leadership Summit in London, 34% of business leaders said that they believe fifty percent of workers will be working remotely by 2020. This is a significant figure and will only continue to increase as time goes by. The advances in technology will allow remote workers to communicate far more efficiently, with virtual reality becoming more advanced. This might manifest itself in individuals working in virtual office spaces in order for employers to keep an eye on the productivity of their employees, or see conferences and meetings taking place virtually. We see how people make use of VR headsets in the gaming industry, and this is a trend that is almost certainly going to crossover into the business world as well. Start thinking about all of the ways in which your business will need to adapt, including time sheets software and work tracking, for it truely is becoming a brave new world.