Not so many years ago the concept of remote working or working from home would have sounded very strange to you, as it was a reality for only a small portion of the employment landscape. Now, thanks to the internet, the number of people that actually do work from home is growing every day, with a constant rise in numbers around the world.
Companies too are increasingly turning to this solution. As Millennials take over the job market both as workers and as employers, this is a trend that is here to stay. Born in a time of vast technological changes, remote working comes naturally to Millennials. This is probably one of the main reasons why the phenomenon has become global so quickly.
What are the Advantages of Embracing the Remote working Trend?
Nowadays, technology has enabled work environments that are much more flexible and customizable. Thanks to technologies like Slack, Google Drive, Zendesk or Time Doctor and to our super fast internet connections, a company's office doesn't need to have a physical location, and it can easily be set up in a digital one. The advantages of embracing remote work are easy to grasp, both to worker and employer.
For workers, working hours are not set as the traditional and rigid 9-to-5, 40 hours a week (as long as deadlines are met), and there is no need to work in cramped office spaces, nor to waste time on commuting (working from the comfort of your own home is a big plus here). This, obviously, makes for happier and less stressed workers, with a bigger retention rate.
From the other point of view, companies can easily hire talents from anywhere in the world, via Internet, without hassle, at affordable salaries and with reduced HR costs, which is great news for Startups (and for big companies as well)!
It is, therefore, no surprise that a growing number of companies are shifting fast to this new digital realm, and an even bigger contingent of workers is trying to enter this job market, seeking an opportunity in the remote work world.
Is Remote Working for Everyone?
In principle, yes. But, obviously, it does not fit every business or job, and not everyone one is cut out to work online, as it requires a certain skill-set, good time-management, self-discipline and a very goal-oriented personality.
For the worker, working remotely means more freedom and a better work-life balance. But in turn, it will also mean an almost 100% dependency on technology and a reliable internet connection. It will also test the worker's ability to remain focused. It will demand a tremendous dose of self-discipline and productivity in order to not get sidetracked.
As a plus, working remotely will also broaden the scope of job opportunities, as you are no longer restricted to your city or country. You can search for a new job worldwide!
As a Company, is Remote Working a Good Option?
For a company, the biggest challenge is to keep employees engaged, ensuring at the same time that their efforts are aligned with the business goals. Employers need to have strong leadership in place and to use the right tools and apps to manage their remote workers properly.
Although this solution allows for fewer fixed costs (office space, HR or working equipment) it also entails a substantial learning curve. Let's not forget for instance the many challenges that arise when your workforce is scattered all over the world, with different time schedules. Employers that opt for this solution are allowing autonomy and promoting innovation, by hiring people from around the world to work on their projects and tasks, but they are certainly not permitting laziness and poor work performance, and neither would any company with a physically located office.
It can certainly be exhausting to manage and keep track of everything your workers are doing, at least in the beginning, when systems are being implemented and tested. But, in the long run, it will bring in several benefits.
Although remote working seems to be the future and a major trend these days, we cannot ignore that it is not suitable for every person or business. There isn't a generic solution or a one size fits all approach.
And, even if mindsets are changing and this system has a lot of advantages for both parties involved, it's also a fact that there is still a big proportion of the corporate world that is simply not yet ready to shift to this new digital trend.