If you’re a worker who doesn’t much like offices — or a business owner who wants to have happier employees with better work-life balance — then this is a great time for you. Thanks to technological advances and changing office norms, it is easier than ever for you or your employees to work remotely.
Remote work is a growing trend
Not long ago, remote work was a fantasy. But with every passing year, working from places other than the office is becoming more common. Currently, 63 percent of companies have at least one worker working remotely, and hiring managers agree that the trend is only growing. In the workplace of the future, remote work is “the new normal,” these experts say.
Some employees work some days remotely, meaning they only have to be in the office occasionally. Others work from home every day of the working week. In other cases, remote work might be used as a temporary fix for a closed office or a contagious (but still productive) sick employee. Remote work is a flexible solution, and each employer (and employee) has a preference.
Those who work entirely off-site aren’t necessarily required to work from coffee shops and home offices. Because such workers are entirely untethered from the office, they sometimes choose to live life on the go. Living in an RV or other home-on-the-go used to be the exclusive domain of retirees, but not anymore. Some people now work and travel the roads at the same time.
Some programs even cater to remote workers and offer them travel plans that allow them to work from overseas locations, truly merging travel and the working life in exciting ways that would have been impossible just a decade or two ago.
Technology is the driving force behind remote work
What changed? It’s certainly true that some norms surrounding office work, hours, attire, and work-life balance have loosened over the years. In most cases, these are positive changes. Experts agree that proper work-life balance is essential to our morale and our productivity as workers.
But changing mores are certainly not the only reason for the rise in remote working culture. After all, remote work wouldn’t even be possible if not for the technology that connects co-workers, management, clients, and others.
The biggest changes in remote work can be traced to the internet, and to online communications systems in particular. Teleconferencing software has made it easy for teams to hold meetings and communicate within the company, say experts who offer Polycom solutions for Microsoft services — and that’s not all that teleconferencing technology can do.
After all, teleconferencing software can also be used between different companies. That’s great news for all sorts of businesses, especially those that might not otherwise have been able to cut deals with geographically distant clients and collaborators. The same technology that has made it possible for employees and employers to bridge huge distances has also made it easier for businesses to enter the global fray in a “flattening” world. Globalization is here, and long has been, but software solutions can give even smaller companies a global reach.
Technology such as teleconferencing software has radically changed the ways in which employees and companies work. But it hasn’t changed the core missions of the companies that it helps. Businesses are still here to do the things they do best. But, thanks to technology, they can now do those things from afar, collaborate more easily, and allow their most talented employees to work in the environments that make them most productive and happy.