The Future of Work is Remote
History of work
During the entire history of humankind, location was key if you wanted to get a job. Working from home wasn’t even a possibility and proximity was the key to productivity. (Yeah the boss thinks that if you are in the office you are working).
Try looking back to what led to the location dependency in the past? It points towards the availability of technology & infrastructure only in the central workspaces. Lack of technology (at personal disposal) did not allow the work environment to be flexible and customizable.
Think for a moment, humans have basically shifted from nomads to living in small cities, to living in bigger cities, to living in insanely-large cities. It has even gotten to the point that living in the same city you work, doesn’t even save you from having to travel into work. In some of the largest cities (New York, London, Mumbai, California) in the world, having a 2-hour commute to work is not unusual.
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Evolution of remote work
The idea of telecommuting has been around for a while. Now the technology has allowed these possibilities to be considered by companies of all sizes across all industries. Today the internet lets you work remotely from where you feel the most productive.
A report by PwC showed that 64% of millennials would like the opportunity to work from home.
There are still a high number of companies and tech startups that are afraid of allowing remote work. Entrepreneurs still have a hard time believing the fact that they can have teams located all over the world, and still run a successful company. This is because of the myths about remote work on productivity and communication terms. Read more about myths here.
10 years ago, remote employment meant a telemarketing or customer service position at below minimum wage. Today work from home is very common among freelancers. Large pool of graphic designers, web developers, and bloggers & writers work remotely. Availability of high-speed internet, cloud-based tools and flexible workspaces made this possible.
Current trends in remote work
Companies as big as WordPress are run by 100% distributed teams. The company shut down its office four years ago and went fully remote. It is still running successfully and with a net worth of $1.16 billion (as of 2017).
Remote work is a reality today and is happening now. Global workplace analytics reported that 90% of employees work remotely (in some way) at least once a week.
And you might already be working remotely without realizing it. Companies encourage employees to have conference calls and collaborate via screen sharing. All of this because few of the teams are already distributed across different regions already.
Have you ever checked your emails on a vacation or when traveling for business? PS - that is [subtle] remote work. All your work is done on the internet, you communicate via cloud-based tools. You are in virtual contact with your colleagues and you obviously don't show up physically in your company’s office.
Distributed teams are the future of work
The remote workforce is growing at an astonishing rate. We are waltzing into a new era of hypermobility. There are abundant resources available to help companies grow and manage a remote workforce.
Mark Gilbreath, founder, and CEO of LiquidSpace said, “30% of enterprise workspace portfolio would be flexible by 2030.”
The location will no longer be a limitation. Flexible office spaces platforms such as LiquidSpace are solving the location problem efficiently. There are organizations like Trello, WordPress, Github, Buffer etc. that are successfully working remotely.
Remote work is on the rise. Over the last couple of years, not only employees but employers have also accepted remote work and have started working remotely. Currently, full-time employees are working remotely at least once a week and the idea of remote work or work from home is appealing to many. The number of remote workers is only going up in the future.
Harvard business review reported a 13.5% increase in productivity when the employees of Ctrip’s call center were permitted to work remotely.
What do you think?
If you (your team) have been working-from-home and not from the cubicle few days a month, you know that sometimes things go wrong. From unexpected changes in the environment, collaboration delays, fatal miscommunications, and loss of productivity. But it doesn't have to be that way. What you need is to learn how to weed this out and make it work seamlessly.
Surround yourself with people who have been down the road you want to go; who have made all the mistakes and are still successful.
Learn from experts about building a flexible team and working flexibility and eliminate your fear and embrace the future of work.
Learn more about flexible working and remote work from remote work expert Mark Gilbreath, CEO, and founder of LiquidSpace.
About the Author
I am a content writer, working remotely for the past 3 years.
I write about remote work, marketing, and analytics.