The Rise of the Remote Worker
The Covid-19 pandemic, among many other changes and tests it will bring about, will be the single greatest stress test for remote work capabilities and effectiveness that has ever occurred. While many workers, especially freelancers, gig workers, and people working primarily from computers, are already working remotely most or all of the time, now many people have no choice and innovative methods are being implemented in companies across the world. Teleconferencing has never been so popular.
Yet already many employees have pushed for remote working for years. They cite the benefits to employee satisfaction, the stable or increased productivity rates, the reduced need for office space, and other positive changes. This year and beyond, we will likely see the rise of the remote worker, and a shift in the office norms to accommodate.
Keeping People on Board
Remote work has proven itself to be a way for people living in remote areas of the world or away from major business centers to find a steady income and still be able to go to work, and businesses are similarly able to enjoy a much larger pool of world applicants that can expect to work remotely.
Additionally, remote work options become important when an employee must move and removes the commute that can otherwise make their staying impossible. Remote work has also improved retention rates by making employees happier, often without a pay change attached to it.
Naturally, businesses hoping to take the most advantage will need to make sure resources and networks are available to remote employees so that nothing is lost. Companies will need to take time to adjust if they don’t have processes in place (just like any new system), but it will be increasingly vital in a globalized and nomadic world.
Improved Communication Technology
And the reason we can have these developments in remote working is because of the vast improvements in communications infrastructure and online services that make it easy. While working remotely while using the telephone to communicate was possible and required for some industries, many jobs previously thought too complex to be managed remotely are now easy.
Whether it’s running a blog for business purposes (a more complex task than one might first think), working on customer service tasks, or even more complex management tasks, things such as Slack, Trello, Zoom, Skype, and others have allowed for the creation of virtual offices that can meet the needs of any company. Dividable into sections, teams, and more, these services alongside tools such as email are allowing for the current and ongoing boom of remote work.
Creating the Perfect Remote Working Environment
Working from home requires a specific set up though. While it is possible to work from a kitchen table, a couch, and even a bed, a proper home office setup is required, or at least a dedicated space to work.
Similar to an office, minimal distractions are best, if possible. A good quality laptop or PC is an absolute must but ensure that you also have the other office essentials close at hand, depending on the nature of your work. Finally, make sure that you have a comfortable chair and enough space to regularly stretch.
Remote working is not just about an office setup though. It is also about attitude. The home needs to become the office in a way, and each day needs to be treated as if the employee were going to the office. It will be an adjustment for some, but often this isn’t an issue.
Will Remote Work Be the New Normal?
Once the current crisis is over, businesses in many industries will have to consider what the new normal should be, and whether remote work will become a new standard. We think that businesses and managers will look at the numbers and discover the truth that it’s a more efficient, more effective, and morale-boosting measure for many employees, and will open options like never before.
However, remote work will simply never be the norm for everyone. Many jobs require someone to be there in person, and some people simply would not prefer to work from home, favoring a focused office environment where they feel they can get more done. Just like employers, employees around the world will find out if remote work is a lifestyle that works for them.
Current statistics show that remote working is more prevalent in the tech industry, but it is impacting all businesses around the world. In fact, the growth in remote working is 159% over the past 12 years.
As we stated, companies that offer remote working are finding it easier to source and retain talent. And if the hiring market becomes competitive, remote work options could be a great way to make the difference. Whether your company has embraced remote working or is fighting against it, it is safe to say that this is a trend that is here to stay.
Guest Blog by Eric Jameson