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Is Working Remotely Really the Best Option? Will it Continue in the Future?
With major companies calling employees back to the office, the debate around working remotely has heated up. During the pandemic, remote work was the ‘new normal’. But as the world settled down into the post-pandemic era, questions are being raised about whether a completely remote work model is suitable for all industries. It undoubtedly offers significant benefits for business owners and employees: cost savings, enhanced productivity, greater flexibility, and better work-life balance. According to Zippia, 59% of employees have higher chances of choosing an employer that offers remote working opportunities than one that doesn’t.
Yet, there are questions surrounding whether remote working will actually sustain in the long run. So, does ‘work from anywhere’ define the future of the global workforce, or will it slowly phase? Let’s see what the trends suggest.
What Does Working Remotely Mean?
Remote working, also known as telecommuting, is a flexible working arrangement that allows employees to work from a location that is outside of a traditional office environment. Whether that’s a library, a coffee shop, a co-working space, or even their homes, they are free to choose the location. Remote working can involve full-time, part-time, or project-based job roles that are fulfilled using the power of the Internet. This brings employees a greater sense of flexibility as they can work for the client or company of their dreams from any time zone and essentially anywhere in the world. According to a McKinsey report, a flexible working arrangement is among the top three motivators for seeking new work opportunities.
Work From Home Vs. Working Remotely
Many people are of the impression that working remotely is the same as working from home. However, the two concepts are marginally different. The idea of both working styles remains the same, which is to work from a comfortable space of choice and not a conventional office. But Work From Home (WFH) is a rather flexible option where employees can choose to work from the office for a few days of the week and WFH for the rest. Whereas remote working is a more permanent setting where employees have the freedom to work remotely for weeks, months or even years, depending on the project or company they are associated with.
ALSO READ: 7 Best Work-From-Home Jobs: Remote is the New Cool!
What Does the Future of Remote Work Look Like?
As per Microsoft’s New Future of Work Report 2022, we may be entering a new way of working known as the hybrid work era. This flexible model supports a blend of working from the office, working from home, and working remotely—where employees will have the autonomy to choose where and how they are most productive. Going by the current market trends, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that remote working is likely to expand even further across varied industries.
The importance of work-life balance and flexible working was brought to the forefront as more millennials started entering the workforce. This acted as a huge catalyst to make that shift toward working remotely and implementing policies that promote balance and flexibility at work. In the future, remote working software, virtual reality conferencing, mobile work tools and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in making remote work a seamless experience.
ALSO READ: How Hybrid Work Models Can Enable Digital Growth in 2023
Top 3 Categories of People That Benefit From Remote Work
There was a time when working remotely was not even a possibility, as the required technology simply didn’t exist. But today, thanks to the evolution of the Internet and advances in virtual communication technology like video conferencing, online chats, emails, AI, etc, remote working has become an accepted practice and even a preferred choice across the workforce today. Let’s understand how working remotely can benefit these three categories of people.
1. Single Parents/ Primary Caregivers
A remote working job offers single parents the freedom of flexible working hours, which accounts for better work-life balance as compared to an office job. This flexibility can be a game-changer in terms of being able to spend more time with their kids and still have a structure to fulfill professional responsibilities. This holds true for all parents with young children, particularly for the primary caregivers, who can now schedule their official calls in between parenting duties like driving their kids to sports practice or drama class.
2. Digital Nomads
Digital nomads are essentially a community of travel enthusiasts who came into existence because of the freedom to work remotely. Thanks to the option of remote work, they can fulfill their wanderlust and also keep their day jobs. Although, in order to sustain this lifestyle, it is important for digital nomads to strike a healthy balance between work hours and being on the road.
3. Pet Parents
An interesting Forbes survey reveals that 23% of Americans are willing to take a 10% pay cut if they are allowed to work remotely with their dogs. Working remotely is known to make pet owners less anxious about their pets, eliminate stress around their well-being, save on pet daycare, and focus better on work.
Companies That are Fully Remote
It may not be viable for every business to shift to a completely remote model but some departments or roles can certainly prioritize remote or hybrid working solutions. HubSpot, for instance, divides its workforce into three buckets—office, flex (work from the office two days per week), and home, and lets their employees choose which mode worked best for them.
Here is a list of companies that offer remote working opportunities:
The demand for remote workers is only likely to increase from here on out. In fact, 36% of employees would choose to work remotely over a raise, as per Global Workplace Analytics. So, it is quite evident that this shift toward working remotely resonates with employees, which eventually results in better productivity for businesses. If you are a remote worker and would like to expand your career trajectory, check out learning opportunities on Emeritus and fast-track your professional growth with the best in the business!
By Neha Menon
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