How Remote Work is About to Transform the Workforce
Why will remote work change the world we live in?
The days of toiling away in a stuffy office are long gone. And, say the millennials – ”good riddance.” In today’s era of rapidly emerging technology, needlessly sitting together in the same four walls feels almost antiquated for the majority of young people. This is where remote work comes to the picture. Tools like Slack, Google docs, Invision and more make working together beyond the confines of an office incredibly easy, driving both collaboration and natural engagement between employees, whether they’re across the room or across the world.
Plenty of Perks
So, is remote work too good to be true? Hardly. The list of benefits is lengthy, and the few downfalls can most often be solved with a bit of legwork and a whole lot of open communication. While for most companies, offering a remote work option part-time, possibly including certain days of the week, r on a larger scale where extended absences – otherwise impossible to accommodate – are allowed, some companies focus 100% on remote teams. There are thousands of companies based exclusively on a force of remote workers, who not only survive on the model but see intensive growth and increased candidate interest for open positions.
Happier People Make Happier Workers
While many managers shudder at the idea of not being able to manage employees in person, imagining a heavy drop in productivity the moment an employee steps out, the opposite has proven to be true. In a Gallup study, it was shown that workers who spent 60-80% of their time working from home felt more engaged with their work than non-remote employees. Pair this with the decrease in commute time, increased flexibility with family and non-work commitments, and it’s clear to see that remote workers are some of the happiest in the workforce. And of course – happy workers are more productive, accountable and consistent.
A More Open Economy
When seeking the perfect employee, a hiring manager often faces the challenge of proximity. What if you’ve found the perfect person, with the perfect background, but they happen to live 3 time zones away? Given the connectivity tools we have today, there’s no reason this person shouldn’t be the next member of that team. Remote work encourages hiring managers to hire the right talent, the first time, regardless of where they are. This decreases onboarding costs, HR costs, and time spent training, as hiring the right person the first time will increase the chances they stay on long-term, and won’t soon need to be replaced. Additionally, this type of hiring allows more people to become specialists in niche fields, and allows those looking for these experts to hire them.
In the age of tech, the perks of giants like Apple and Google are becoming well known and spreading to every facet of the community. Companies large and small have opened up to offering a number of benefits that seemed unfathomable in the past, from unlimited paid time off to free meals, and office dogs to office kids – times are changing, and companies are moving fast to keep up. But beyond all these frilly perks, workplace flexibility remains one of the key drivers for jobseekers, with more than half saying it’s a more important benefit than healthcare. Anyone from a millennial trying to travel more to a working mother, caring both aging parents and kids of their own, to a baby boomer who feels burnt out on the office life, but is still passionate about their work, can benefit. And most want to do just that.
“Offering remote working is also beneficial from the management point of view. By using a set of tools to organise the company, it is very easy to plan and manage a team built of in-house workers and freelancers. Offering remote working doesn’t necessarily mean that your employee works like that every day. It can mean two or even one day a week. Your creative employees will surely benefit from that opportunity to gather thoughts and focus in a different environment. You see, the stereotype of a writer sitting in a cafe and writing a book comes from the real life examples. From the employer’s point of view, the biggest hurdle is to give that freedom to your employees and establish a mutual trust. An employee working from home might often be much more productive and creative than the person, who is shackled to their desk for 8 hours. As an employer, think of it as a new investment, which – when managed properly – brings more effective and more loyal employees.” – Konrad Kwiatkowski, Marketing Manager at Packhelp.
The Time is Now
The majority of companies are already offering some form of remote working options. The benefits they see – from happier, more engaged employees, to simpler and less frequent hiring processes, prove more than worth it. From an employee perspective, it’s simple: choose a company that gives me the flexibility I need to be the best employee I can, or the one with a rigid, 9-5 schedule that ties me to a desk all day? For most, the answer is clear.
Offering remote opportunities doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. Starting small, with experimental options may be the right choice for you. Many companies offer remote time as a reward for meeting goals or reaching specific milestones. Others offer it on a situational basis. For some, being exclusively remote is the best option. The best way to get started is to keep an open mind, and, well – be flexible.