Picture yourself on a hot summer’s day sitting on the deck at your cottage looking out at the lake…Wait! It’s Wednesday. You’re not on vacation. Your laptop is humming on your lap while you work on the latest version of the presentation on the cloud, your Bluetooth headset connects you to your team on a conference call with people from around the globe for the last WebEx before this all goes to the CEO. You may be at the cottage, but it’s a typical work day as far as you’re concerned.
Does this sound unrealistic or bizarre? Regular work-at-home has grown 173% since 2005, 11% faster than the rest of the workforce (which grew 15%) and nearly 47x faster than the self-employed population (which grew by 4%). While those who’ve always been a part of the traditional suit and tie, 9 to 5, office environment may find this sacrilegious, there are many potential advantages to a remote work environment—and not just for employees.
First and foremost, it decreases the need for expensive office space. For example big companies in cities are opting for more flexible office “hoteling” arrangements. It allows a more diverse workforce to collaborate, and enables such things as more parents returning to work earlier (or at all) after having children, or on the other end of the spectrum, the care of an elderly relative.
But if you still feel stuck in your cubicle with no way out, here are a few practical points to help make the case for your organization to embrace a more remote model, and to do it more effectively when you do:
- Working from home will make you a happier person and thus a better and more productive employee. Everyone seems to be talking about work-life balance these days, and there is no better way to improve said balance than having the flexibility to organize your day in a way that is most effective for you!
- Working remotely is easier than ever thanks to the Internet. From Google to Skype there are tons of tools that allow for “face to face” meetings in virtual form, from anywhere in the world, making remote communications easier than ever. Use them and make sure your organization embraces them too!
- Studies show that employees who work remotely spend more time on actual work on a day to day basis. Eliminating those long commutes means you have the ability to start working earlier and continue working later than you would otherwise, not to mention gains in productivity and focus in between.
- You will learn more and become a more independent worker. More control over your time and work processes allows you to be more creative.
So take the first step towards unchaining yourself from your desk and embrace the new future of the workplace. You’ll be happier and more productive when you do!