Remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world and is changing how the global workspace operates. From flexible work options to using a combination of non- traditional work practices, settings, and locations remote working has already started to play a major role in how the workplace will evolve in the coming years. Companies will have to rapidly adopt new technologies to navigate unprecedented changes and manage their workforce in order to ensure survival and achieve success.
Today, we are at the apex of change – a change marked by adopting new technology for connecting and working from home. This change has also propelled a realization that it is possible to accomplish most of the work remotely. There is no longer a pressing need for employees to work from the office. We are steadily settling into working from the comfort of our homes. However, we need to get the pace up when it comes to embracing new technology. Martec’s Law talks about exactly that – technology changes exponentially, but organisations change logarithmically. This means that technology changes at a faster rate than organisations can adapt it, but thanks to the current situation, the gap is now decreasing.
Remote working is not a novel concept that we are just discovering. It has been around for as long as people have travelled for work and ever since the need for work-life balance has been realised. It is just that in the current scenario it has become mandatory. This recent rise of remote working is largely technology-driven since collaboration via cloud systems is so prevalent. The future of remote work will be dictated by a younger workforce who intent to work to live and not live to work.
It is also clear that remote work has become a global phenomenon. Yet, in a majority of companies, flexible work options, including telecommuting has been considered a perk rather than a standard operating procedure. But, a lot of innovative companies are now moving towards the direction of remote work as they are discovering that it does not hinder the company’s performance. So ask yourself a question, why do you need to go to the office when your work can be done from home maintaining the same performance level?
The Merits of Going Remote
Productive Workforce: One of the biggest roadblocks to productivity is distractions and everyday commute to the office is one of them. Navigating traffic can have an impact on the mood and mental frame of mind and remote working eliminates some of these factors. It can be said that people working remotely are more productive as they can get more work done without unnecessary distractions. These positive outcomes also help in reducing employee turnover and result in more job satisfaction.
Technology Enhancement: Today, multiple collaboration tools help people connect via both audio and video. Technology companies are introducing new tools every day that connect people virtually. These advancements in technology and devices, including the Cloud and several online communication tools, have massively contributed to the rising popularity of remote work and making it a success.
Remote working is not a novel concept that we are just discovering. It has been around for as long as people have travelled for work and ever since the need for work-life balance has been realised.
The New Workforce: Gen Z has already entered the workplace today. This generation is more technology-driven and it likes to work in a remote work arrangement. This approach to work is part of the “digital nomad” lifestyle trend where the younger workers are choosing to embrace a world without anchors and not wanting to be confined to one place. This also contributes to the gig economy which provides the younger workforce with a means to work in multiple jobs without the constraints of traditional office hours.
Multi-Location Talent: Companies will be able to connect with the talent available across the country and not only limit themselves to the talent pool available in the company locations. It will also save them the cost spent on the relocation of a new employee. This also relates to the brand reach of the employer, they will be able to tap more of new talent when the brand reach becomes higher to many parts of the country.
Low Compensation Cost: Companies can look at differential compensation for employees working remotely from smaller cities based on the cost of living.
Loyal Workforce: The remote work arrangement will provide an immense push for the companies to brand themselves as a flexible employer which is a key criterion for employees to make decisions regarding staying or moving on. This will result in lower attrition and more loyalty to the company.
Contributes to a Diverse Workforce: Diversity especially gender diversity is a major area of focus for companies today. Women have traditionally been the ones to sacrifice their careers to meet the demands of home. With the option of remote working, women will be able to join the workforce again to meet the demands of the office and home by controlling their schedules.
Infrastructure Cost: With most of the workforce connecting remotely, companies would save immensely on the cost of infrastructure. Employees will only need a laptop and internet to accomplish their tasks. It is easier than ever for them to connect with global teams and coordinate the work of individuals from around the world. There are hundreds of tools today that have been created to make the process seamless.
To conclude, encouraging remote working from any part of the world will only benefit the organisations. Many of the job sites have already taken the next step of mentioning the option of remote work in the job listings. Although many companies are still yet to fully embrace it; in the wake of the current crisis, more are expected to hop on the train. The only point of caution is while working from home and with around the clock connectivity, the employees will need to draw a line between their office and home responsibilities.