Having Your Office Anywhere: Some Insights on Working Remotely
Working remotely. First it was a novelty, not to mention a luxury. Today, remote jobs are everywhere. (And we mean everywhere.) Between advances in technology and changing trends in how businesses operate, it was only a matter of time before this trend took hold. Is your business a “remote work”-friendly operation? Or can it be?
Working from home – or anyplace.
Picture this: You get out of bed in the morning. You leisurely get ready for the day. You turn on the computer and begin the workday. No rushing around. No commute. You simply work with flexibility and ease. This could be the (near) perfect example of “work/life balance” in action. Ever wonder what working from home is like? Or, maybe you’re in fact reading this blog from your “office on the go.” Whether you conduct your workday from home, your favorite coffee shop, or anywhere for that matter, the practice of working remotely has grown – but it must be approached carefully.
There are more remote jobs than you might think.
How many people have work from home jobs? First, let’s get an idea of what careers are mobile-friendly. The Balance Careers listed a number of jobs that have adapted to remote work environments. These job titles include email marketer, promotional video maker, freelance writer, web or graphic designer, translator, customer service manager, crowdsourcing manager, Android or iPhone developer, e-book publisher, and even teacher or tutor. And more job titles will likely be added to this list.
Working remotely is spreading, fast and far.
As noted by Rani Molla in Vox, the rise among employees in the US who work remotely has increased from 4.1 to 5.3 percent within the last 10 years. Thanks to factors ranging from improved home-based broadband connections to initial reports of increased productivity (complemented by decreased turnover rate among employees who have this option), this percentage of work from home jobs will grow. In fact, the option to work remotely has even become a job perk businesses are offering to attract prospective employees.
Now to play devil’s advocate…
Challenges of working remotely…
Despite the obvious advantages of greater flexibility and saving time and money on a daily commute to the office, there are considerations which both business owners and employees should look at before going the working from home route. In an article for Business Insider, Natalia Lusinski examines the potential downsides of working remotely, which include lack of personal connection and rapport with fellow employees in addition to maintaining a structured routine. All of these may lead to career stagnancy, isolation, and burnout. How can this be avoided? Certain rules, of course…
What should business owners and employees be aware of for remote jobs?
To avoid the pitfalls mentioned above, there is a general consensus of how employees can be productive if they hold down work from home jobs. These involve:
- The discipline to stay on track, and to check in with managers and necessary team members
- Following guideposts set down by managers, along with weekly one-on-one meetings
- Working in a setting where distractions are at a minimum and which maximizes motivation
- Taking breaks, as the comfort and convenience of working remotely can erase a sense of time
- Maintain – and in fact strengthen – connections with team members and IT resources through phone, email, or instant messaging
Finally, keep in mind that no matter how on-trend the practice of working remotely might be, it is not for everyone. Depending on any number of factors – from personal temperament and preferences to specific job responsibilities – the ‘old fashioned’ way of working within an office space is still best for some people.
If your business – whether it is located in an office building or is a remote work setup – can use some attention in making its presence known, give EGC a call. This is where we take the more traditional route: With offices on Long Island and in Manhattan, we are not hard to find!