The advent of computers and the internet have changed the way in which employees and companies now work.
Before, it was necessary for everyone to be in the office, as everything was physical. Documents were filed by paper, contacts were kept on the Rolodex, and meetings were held in special rooms.
All this has changed, documents are on your computer, contacts are in your phone, and meetings can happen over zoom with a webcam. Everything that was necessary in a physical office can now be contained to a laptop that is only about a foot long.
This new technology means that offices aren’t really necessary for work anymore, and more and more companies are turning to allowing their employees to work remotely to fulfill their duties.
In the long run, this could mean big changes to the way that jobs work and could make a laptop more important than an office. But what is remote working? Is it kind of like a business trip? Or is it more like what we would do in the office itself.
Today, we are going to find out more about remote working, figure out what it is, and whether it may be a good fit for you in the future.
What Is Remote Working?
Remote working is when someone works for a company but may not necessarily work from the traditional office environment.
This is not necessarily the same as working from home or working only at the office, as at home and the office your space tends to be fixed to a certain point like a room or a desk that is specifically for you to use during the 7 to 9 hours you work a day.
However, with remote working, you can be literally anywhere, as long as you are doing the work. This means you could wake up in a hotel room in Kota Kinabalu in the Malaysian state of Sabah looking at the tide roll in from the sea or go to a coffee shop in drizzly Seattle.
While the wind whips outside, and at any point you could sit down and do work. Even if your work isn’t flexible, you could still do those and just make sure you are there for the 9 to 5 working hours.
Remote working plays with the idea that micromanaging and specific locations for work are not necessary for work to be completed. Instead, it relies on inherent trust in and the competency of employees to complete their job.
To many employers this may sound ludicrous or abhorrent, but there are so many benefits, and it actually makes employees much more satisfied in their work.
Benefits To Employees
We will start with the benefits to the employees before we move on to what an employer gains from remote working, and the first big one is flexibility.
When you work remotely, only certain industries and jobs need you to complete work within a 9 to 5 timeframe. For most jobs, as long as something is done by the end of the week or by a timeframe set in the future, then it should be good.
This means that a lot of remote work allows for flexibility, and when people have more flexibility in their lives, they feel less stress and more in control than they would otherwise.
Most things in our lives can’t be made to be this flexible and often working can get in the way of other important matters, which can lead to people forced to make difficult decisions.
With flexible remote working, this is not a problem, as you can do your job around other parts of your life without worry.
For example, if your child gets sick and needs to be cared for, you don’t have to worry about making up the time at work, as you can work from home and be there for your child when they need it.
Another thing that remote working can give people is better physical and mental health. Remote working can lessen stress and since stress can lead to anxiety and health problems, this is a big bonus.
In fact, studies have shown that those working remotely have higher morale than their office counterparts. When asked about why they thought it was, many of those working remotely suggested that they no longer commuted.
Even though some people enjoy commuting, most find it stressful, difficult, and draining, therefore by eliminating it, remote working makes people feel better.
Remote workers tend to feel more invigorated by their job as well, and have a renewed passion for the industry. By eliminating the competitiveness of an office environment and the stress to succeed among colleagues, remote working allows people to focus more on the job.
People have reported working harder remotely, simply so they can feel the satisfaction of a job well done.
The rewards of a job become less about success within the office and more about satisfaction in the job itself, which has all round caused a boost in productivity among remote workers.
Benefits To Employers
Employers shouldn’t see the only benefits happening to their employees, though, as there are many for employers as well.
As mentioned earlier, employees tended to increase productivity when working remotely thanks to their own motivation and satisfaction.
This is great news for employers as it means that employees are working harder and doing more for the company. In fact, in recent years, more and more managers are coming out saying that remote working has improved employee performances, and they encourage it.
For fully remote workplaces, the savings made from not renting an office space or furniture is immense. No longer do companies have to pay for huge areas, they only need to supply what is necessary, like laptops, passwords, and other such equipment.
The only time these types of companies really need to shell out a lot of money is when in person meetings are held and because of the savings made by remote working, these meetings tend to be held in nice places and generously catered.
The final thing that employers should note is that employees want remote work, and this is probably the most important takeaway for those at the top of companies. The world is changing, and many employees have said they would quit their job for a remote one.
The reasons are pretty obvious when you see the benefits that remote working offers employees. If employers want to stay ahead of the curve, then they should listen to their employees before they lose them to another company willing to make the changes in their infrastructure.
By introducing even a little bit of remote working – like 1 or 2 days a week – then a company is likely to improve their employees work ethic, satisfaction, and productivity 10-fold and if they stubbornly refuse then they may lose that employee forever.
Remote working’s benefits are a proven thing not only for employees but employers as well. It allows for employees to feel less stress and more job satisfaction, and it allows for employers to reap the benefits of their employee’s hard work and dedication.
The downsides compared to the benefits are laughably small, and changing to a completely remote or semi remote work environment could really help a struggling company or even a big one. If you want to give it a try, maybe suggest it to your boss, their answer may just surprise you.
A text transcript of the video in this lesson.