To something which was rare a decade ago, and now being increasingly adopted in the modern workspace environment — Remote work has changed the game in global workforce operation. Gone are the days when work from home was a privilege given to special employee cases. With the recent advancement of telecommuting/teleconferencing, businesses are now thriving with successful remote working teams.
Majority of companies are incorporating flexible work options and eliminating location limits efficiently to gain two-way benefits for employees and employers. Remote work is on the rise and has appealed positively to the eyes of people at the workspace.
Over the last five years, the number of people working remotely has grown by 44%.FlexJobs (survey in USA)
Remote Work is no longer an alternative but a strategic move for many businesses.
So, what is causing the shift towards working remotely? Let’s dive deep.
TECHNOLOGY PAVES THE WAY FOR REMOTE WORK
Innovation in technology has made remote work seamless. People can have face-to-face interactions from any place through video conferencing solutions. Today’s tech enables delivery and deployment of resources and secure access to company information whenever needed. With the best set of tools and applications companies can eliminate collaboration and communication barriers.
Zapier has championed remote work in recent times. Work Smart, Not Hard- with a focus towards getting things done, they help in automation of workflow and getting more out of your data. They’ve mastered remote work productivity within their marketing team. A cohesive use of apps like Slack (communication within channels), Trello (for discussion around blog posts), Async (internal blog for updates), Google Docs and Google Calendar has helped them in streamlining communication. Other than these, they have their trusted resources/apps for documentation (Hackpad), GIFs recording (RecordIt), video conferencing (Zoom).
WORK REMOTELY AND AVOID LONG COMMUTES
Residing in one of the corporate hubs, comes with comparatively higher cost of living. The lengthy commutes to work often drain the quality of life. Now-a-days, majority of workers would be willing to trade long commutes for a better work-life balance. Even if it comes with a pay cut, having a stress-free life is essential to millenials.
76% of millennials would take a 3% pay cut to work for a company that offered flexible office hoursQualtrics and Accel Partners (survey)
WORLDWIDE ACCESS TO BEST REMOTE WORKERS
Talent is distributed, Opportunity may not be. Instead of focusing recruitment efforts in a single competitive area; remote work allows an opportunity to acquire best skilled employees from all over the world. With possibly less competition from your rivals, this enables companies build heterogeneous teams. People from different backgrounds can provide diversity in perspective and drive results.
GROWING EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY AND RETENTION WHEN WORKING REMOTE
Buffer is a remote working team with its members distributed across the world. One of their core values is to be available to speak with customers around the clock even after being distributed across time zones. They have observed significant business success and also kept their remote team happy and productive. Along with their preferred set of tools (such as Speak.io, Timezone.io, Hipchat) they have made other detailed efforts. Some of them include, salary structure partially based on location to help members afford the cost of living, team retreats every five months, workflow help like organizing information with in-house software, audio books on the go for learning, encouraging employees for time boxing their activities.
Open workspace- meant to be collaborative, can often end up being distracting. Untimely additional meetings and external interruptions result in fall of productivity. Many critics might disagree on remote employees producing results, as the amount of employee hours can’t be measured properly.
But past few years show that employees spending good share of working hours outside office are happier and more productive. The logic being – give workers more control over their personal lives and task scheduling, and they will achieve their ideal work-life balance.
Being able to work remotely influences loyalty of people towards the employer. Companies in return observe boost in employee retention rates and lower staff retention.
REMOTE WORK SAVES MONEY
A remote work environment opens an opportunity for cost savings both for an employee and employer. A worker saves the cost of commute. The company saves the infrastructural cost and overhead expenses with a smaller office. The company also saves on the employee turnover costs due to good employee retention rate at remote work environments. The ecological sustainability – on a whole – is an important long-term benefit of remote working.
With modernization of workforce practices, an inclusive, innovative, and empathetic organization would be a winning recipe. Remote work, in this avenue, comes as an opportunity not to be missed. It can provide competitive advantage to any business if deployed correctly. Instead of resisting this change, organizations should work and improve their remote working policies.