As society is passed down to different generations, the culture changes.
And one of the clearest examples of this cultural shift in recent years is in the workplace.
As employees across the world attempt to balance their work life, home life, and social life – oh, and sleep a few hours per day, too – it’s given rise to the trend of remote work.
So what is remote work exactly, what are the benefits, and how can you find a remote job if you want one?
What is remote work?
Remote work is any work that takes place outside the traditional office environment.
Our entire team at Remote Hustle works remotely (surprise, surprise). But that distance never keeps us from getting our tasks accomplished and our to-do lists checked off.
So do all remote workers work for a company?
Definitely not! The beauty of remote work is that it provides all sorts of options and opportunities.
Some people want to stick with the company they work for and are just looking for a change in work style, while others want to start something completely on their own.
Remote work can be good for either of those options!
Do all remote workers work from home?
Many remote workers have a home office or a nearby cafe where they like to work, but some remote jobs are done on the road (i.e., a Regional Salesperson).
Other remote jobs within a company require workers to come in at least occasionally to the physical office – perhaps once per week, or once every two weeks, etc.
Benefits for employees
So there are clearly many ways to work remotely, but why would you want to? What are the benefits of working remotely?
Flexibility is the most obvious answer here. Remote work allows you to choose both where to work and when to work.
Choosing your own hours allows you more time for other things throughout the day, including exercise, cooking, laundry, hobbies, or whatever else you need to do that a typical work day wouldn’t allow you to do.
And not only does working remotely let you choose where you want to work on a day-to-day basis, but totally remote jobs allow you to live wherever you want! Our Remote Hustle team, for example, currently spans from Oregon to Florida, from Croatia to Morocco!
Working remotely actually leads to verifiable health benefits! In-office employees tend to become stressed with day-to-day annoyances, like commuting. One 2019 found that 62% of Americans did not apply to a certain job because of the long commute. But working remotely eliminates that stressor completely!
Similarly, the average employee sometimes feels the need to take a break from work from time to time. But a 2014 study by PGi found that 69% of remote employees reported lower absenteeism than non-remote workers, proving that remote workers don’t feel the need to skip work due to stress as often as their in-office counterparts do.
Remote workers appreciate their ability to choose when and how they can work, which leads not only to a more pleasant work experience, but also a renewed interest in their work.
A 2018 survey that questioned over 3,000 employees in 23 countries on 6 different continents (I’m assuming Antarctica was not included, but who knows? Maybe it was Australia?). The study found that people who had the opportunity to work remotely at least once per month were 24% more likely to feel both happier and more productive at work!
Working remotely also allows you to choose times and surroundings that encourage and inspire you (i.e., working in a cafe that has lots of nice plants, or being able to work around your childrens’ schedules so that you can spend more time with them).
Benefits for employers
You, as an employee, might be sold on the idea of working remotely, but how can you convince your boss it’s a good idea? What are the benefits for employers whose employees work remotely?
Tell them you’ll be more productive. Being able to control your environment and work hours allows you to maximize the time you have, with fewer distractions. Sure, you still have to force yourself not to check Facebook every five minutes, but think about all the times someone comes by just to chat at work when you’re in the middle of something.
According to the State and Work Productivity Report, 66% of managers reported an increase in productivity from their remote employees.
I mean, that’s 2 out of 3!
2. Saving money
This is always a plus for employers!
If the majority of employers are working remotely, there’s less of a need for the basic office necessities in-house.
That way, your boss and the management team will be able to save money on office space and other things like furniture, food, and whatever else your office typically provides.
3. Keeping with the times
As I mentioned earlier, the culture seems to be shifting worldwide towards at least some amount of remote work to allow employees to improve their work-life balance.
A Softchoice study found back in 2017 that nearly 75% of employees would be willing to quit their job for one that allowed them to work remotely. Millennials, especially, enjoy the prospect of remote work. Robert Half International found that 86% of millennial employees would sooner sign a contract with remote work options.
And allowing for this remote switch is of particular importance to working conditions for women, who have traditionally seen penalties in the workplace when they have children or want to start a family.
Are there any negatives connected to working remotely?
Any change is going to have its ups and downs, of course, and working remotely is not necessarily for everyone. Here, I’ve listed a few potential negatives, as well as some common misconceptions about remote work and how to combat them!
(Plus, our team at Remote Hustle has already provided some of the best tips and tricks for maintaining your sanity while working from home. Check them out!)
Lack of social interaction
Many remote workers complain of the lack of social interaction that comes with leaving a typical office space, but there are so many easy fixes for this:
- Try working at cafes and coworking spaces
- Keep in touch with your remote team
- Being very purposeful about your post-work social time!
Communication issues and accountability
Remote work critics (they do exist, believe it or not!) argue that it’s impossible to maintain the amount of communication necessary to successfully work remotely. The first counterargument to that is that it’s already being done to enormous success all over the world!
But secondly, there’s plenty of ways to regularly check in with your team and make sure everyone’s communicating AND doing what needs to be done. Check out Megan’s blog about how to manage remote teams, including using Slack for messaging, Teamwork for project management, and Zoom for weekly team video calls!
So are you ready to get started? If you’re looking to learn more about how to start a remote business or find a remote job, you’ve come to the right place!
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