Remote working is fast becoming the industry standard among digital workers, although many organizations (understandably) believe that moving away from traditional work practices could lead to less control. This is even more true during today’s pandemic. But the increased convenience and “hands-off” approach has really helped many businesses, and it’s easy to see why.
What is Remote work?
The general idea of remote working is that employees can get their work done anywhere without the problems that they expected in the past. The rise in popularity and speed of cloud computing means remote working is now a more viable option than ever, given the ubiquity of internet-enabled electronics.
There are numerous ways that employees can stay connected to the office even if they are hundreds or thousands of kilometers away.
So does it work?
It sounds ideal, but of course remote working practices have drawbacks. Indeed, a few years ago the CEO of internet giant Yahoo completely ended the company’s long-standing remote working policy, which came as a massive shock to the community. As a result, many employees were outraged, but when you look at it logically, it’s easy to see their point of view, even if you don’t necessarily agree.
Below we will examine both sides of the argument.
- The sheer convenience of being able to delegate work to an outside team can be incredibly liberating.
- Advances in cloud computing have meant that employees can essentially take their offices with them on the go. So when a meeting needs to be held away from the office, the staff holding the meeting can take away all the information and features they need that they would enjoy at their own desks. This also means that they can be updated on the fly if something happens “back in the office”.
- Many workers simply work better when they are “fired from the lease,” so to speak, and without their bosses breathing their necks off, they could be doing some of their best and most productive jobs. If employees have the opportunity to work remotely, they are also more likely to stay close, especially if they have children at home to look after during the day.
- Employees’ devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) can be used for remote work. Not only does this mean lower overhead costs, but because of their familiarity, employees feel better able to control their schedules and are more comfortable with their own devices.
- By completely eliminating the need for “commuting”, you give your employees more time to do their jobs, time (and money so we remember that travel isn’t free) that would otherwise spend idly messing around with their phones on the Internet would spend exercising in the middle of the morning rat race or yelling at the traffic.
- Giving your employees the opportunity to work remotely creates a high level of trust that works both ways.
- While it could be argued that there are more potential distractions in the average office than with a coworker at home, and that working from home is generally quieter and more peaceful, the appeal of watching TV or even housework for remote workers can often prove to be prove tempting.
- If employees don’t spend a lot of time in the office and get in touch with their colleagues, they can lose touch. While cloud computing has made communication between conventional and remote workers less difficult, it still doesn’t compare to a good, old-fashioned face-to-face conversation.
- While employees may view this as a positive side effect of working remotely, the fact that managers and team leaders have less direct control over their employees could make certain, less focused employees feel less engaged and less inclined to do their jobs well and with conviction.
As you can see, the benefits greatly outweigh the disadvantages. However, whether or not working remotely is good business for your company depends heavily on the type of business you run and the types of people you employ. However, this is certainly an option to consider as cloud computing is getting faster every year and therefore working remotely is most likely to continue to flourish as a legitimate alternative business practice in 2021 and beyond.