By now, everyone knows the importance of being able of working remotely. In fact, you can’t help but engage in remote communication these days.
Smartphones and tablets have recently exploded in popularity, and it’s hard to imagine being productive when you don’t at least have a mobile phone at hand to ensure that your work colleagues could keep you appraised of the progress of several projects as you go about performing out-of-office tasks. The cloud has made things even more out-of-office-friendly, as it led to the development of programs that give professionals access to important files and functions that make work from anywhere possible.
In the wake of these, it’s not surprising at all that many are applying the principles of remote productivity to their work days.
A Growing Trend
A recent RingCentral Blog entry notes the growing popularity of having a remote working system among small and medium sized businesses which, RC blogger Ben points out, seems to be benefitting not just the workers but the companies themselves.
Apart from citing a survey the cloud phone system provider conducted late last year, it also brought up a recent study by the Conference Board suggesting that the current trend favors the overall convenience and flexibility of a remote working arrangement. In both, it is recognized that such arrangements give employees the opportunity to have more balanced options when it comes to handling their personal and professional schedules. It turns out that when people can work while on vacation – or can handle a family emergency during the work day – they often end up being more productive than expected.
Whether it is the autonomy that the system affords them or the overall efficiency that makes remote working so appealing, at the end of the day it is showing massive improvement in small business operations. Thanks to mobile applications like the RingCentral app and Box, there is no more reason for people to be stuck at their work desks.
One of the unexpected effects of the increasingly mobile and remote work force is the decreasing demand for office space. There is also the matter of some professionals who are having trouble dealing with not having more direct and personal contact with co-workers in an office setting. In order to address this, some offices are offering remote workers the use of extra office space, giving rise to “co-working spaces.”
According to the Wall Street Journal referenced in the same RC post, allowing remote workers to share their office space with workers from another firm inspires creativity, more expansive networking, and opens up new horizons. Meanwhile, remote workers have the benefit of enjoying a structured workspace away from home while still retaining the flexibility and autonomy of a remote work arrangement at the same time. Overall, it’s a win-win situation.
The Wave of the Future
While it is true that some people will always want to be in a “proper working environment” as they go about their business, there is no denying that being part of a remote work force have benefits that we are still discovering. When everything is said and done, we need to acknowledge that this trend can soon become the norm that defines the truly new work paradigm. And we need to be ready for it.