Remote working is no more a trend and has been adopted whole heartedly across segments, companies and geographies. As remote work culture comprises of employees working from any place beyond an official work setup, remote work is synonymously used for people telecommuting, working from home, mobile, virtually, or cloud working.
Apart from the obvious benefit of negating travel time to & fro from the office, providing certain flexibility; it also helps increase productivity and better talent retention. A recent report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors further substantiates this point revealing that benefits like reduced absenteeism, lowered turnover, and improved health and efficiency of workers are some of the direct benefits of remote work culture.
Technology has played a huge role in this change in work culture; giving rise to many more channels of communication, bringing employees across locations together. Use of right tools and technologies support a strong culture for remote teams, maximizing productivity, collaboration and communication. Chat software to help smooth project and team communications, project management software for task and deadline management, teleconferencing tools for webinars, trainings and video meetings; and file collaboration tools have been developed to make remote working seamless. Apps like virtual whiteboards and enhanced video conferencing technology, tech tools like Double Robotics, Talla, Troops, Amy Chat bots, Twyla and technologies like Jawbone, Slack, Hipchat and Weekdone are all supporting the growth of this concept.
Automatic is one of the most successful examples of how work from home is a great idea. Zapier, Buffer, Trello, Helpscouts and Cloudpeeps are other leading successful names known to have embraced remote work culture.
Remote working has its advantages from both employer & employee perspective, as it encourages diversity, geographical accessibility, flexibility and increases overall productivity. It creates a culture of trust, provides employees with a sense of autonomy and flexibility to contribute to the company in their unique and individual ways. As work flexibility is an important factor for the current millennial workforce, it helps manage employee attrition. It also indirectly promotes a healthy work-life balance amongst working professionals. Employers, on the other hand can now select “specialized skills” across the globe and avoid sole dependence on their onsite resources. The concept also addresses qualms such as local/ global travel, sick leaves, office distractions and improves productivity. That is not to say that, remote working does not have its disadvantages. Lack of routine, absence of interactive feedback, personal involvement, isolation, miscommunication and sole dependence on technology are some of the drawbacks that need to be considered.
Having said that, the pros far outweigh the cons. As per Telework Coalition recent report, organisations save up to an average of $20,000 every year for each employee working remotely. It has also increased worker productivity by an average of 22% and decreased worker turnover by 50%. The onus now lies with both the employer and the employee, to successfully implement and take advantage of this opportunity.