Remote Working is the way of the future. It’s a fact that practically everyone living on this beautiful green-and-blue ball we call Earth is affected by the novel coronavirus. Alas, not everyone gets to cope with the growing changes the same way. Many have lost their jobs, yet a few lucky individuals got to work from home.
Those who finally got the opportunity to work remotely now understand how millions of freelancers feel every day. Namely, remote working has its benefits, but it also has its downsides. So, whether we like it or not, we’re stuck with it now.
What’s more, both employers and employees alike have realized that this, in fact, is a solid working model that’s worth pursuing in the near future.
Exactly why is this so? Read on and see for yourself!
What exactly is Remote Working?
Remote working, or telecommuting, means working from an alternate place of work other than your company’s office. With the advent of technology and the ability to work from practically anywhere, this new method of operating has become immensely popular, and for good reason, too!
Hence the traditional office environment (as we know it) is no longer necessary as many a profession can be done remotely via the internet.
Saving on Costs for Both Parties
Daily work commuting is something we take for granted; in order to provide for our families, we need to get to and from work, obviously. Yet, it’s an additional expense that could be avoided altogether if we worked remotely.
Likewise, companies could also cut a lot of their overhead costs by employing a completely remote workforce — there’s no need for expensive office equipment and furniture, as well as costly rents and utility bills.
According to the Global Workplace Analytics study, half-time telecommuter employees that do their job from home generate companies $11,000 per year, per person. Now, multiply this by the millions of people who work remotely (or could do so) and you get mind-blowing figures.
Providing a Better Work-Life Balance
Apart from the financial costs of going to and from work, there’s also the question of time. Some people work so far away from home that they have to spend up to 4 hours each day merely on traveling. Consequently, they squander most of their free time and get to spend less quality time with their families.
In addition, a better work-life balance contributes to people’s overall health and well-being as well. People who regularly work 3 to 4 hours of overtime have a 60% chance of getting heart problems, data shows. Hence, it’s not just a matter of happiness, but of general health too.
The Growing Popularity of Remote Working
Telecommuting is getting more and more popular around the world. Although a lot of workers, at the moment, are forced to do so simply due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it seems like remote work is here to stay. According to remote working statistics, this isn’t just an isolated incident in the US; the stats are the same for other booming regions as well, such as South Africa, for instance.
Let’s dive a bit deeper to see what we mean:
1. 62% of South African companies provide a flexible workplace policy. At the same time, 79% of employees see remote work as the new normal.
2. In 2017, Cape Town introduced Flexi-hour for their employees for the first time in history.
3. 56% of South Africans telecommute on a regular basis.
4. 42% of South African companies employ a full-time remote workforce.
5. Around one-third of Americans (and South Africans) work remotely.
Technology — The Driving Force of the Global Economy
Technology is a real game-changer when the global economy is concerned. Just take a look at the marketing industry, for example. Merely ten years ago, social media marketing campaigns weren’t as developed, there was no influencer marketing (as we know it today), etc. All of these are pretty common nowadays, yet back in the day, people were still getting used to the idea of social media platforms.
The same is true for the global industry as a whole. Just a decade ago, many employers demanded their employees to leave their communication devices outside the office environment. Today, imagining such an office would be near impossible.
In the near future, it is more than likely that AI (artificial intelligence) will take over most of the menial, repetitive tasks done today. In fact, by 2030, it is estimated that around 800 million people will lose their jobs due to automation and AI. At the same time, some 1.2 billion new job opportunities will be created as well.
Hence, all the apps that we have available today, all the augmented reality opportunities, all the video chat meetings we have at our disposal currently are going to help us find jobs a lot faster and make them considerably easier (and more enjoyable as well).
eCommerce, in particular, flourished thanks to the new remote work model; it turned into a vast market weighing almost $3.5 trillion overnight. In fact, most eCommerce companies started their business from home — Amazon was founded in Jeff Bezos’s garage of all places.
As a result, today we have over 2 billion eCommerce consumers, and the number just keeps growing. If eCommerce made it, surely other industries will follow suit?
The potential of remote working was ignored for a very long time; too long, according to some. Yet, due to the ongoing crisis, we learned about the many benefits of telecommuting the hard way. Companies profit more, employees achieve a much better work-life balance, and AI gets to do all the hard, menial work. The dream, is it not?
With all the latest (and coming) technological achievements, who knows what the future has in store for remote working? Something positive, we hope. Alternatively, you can always find out how you can become an influencer.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Opinion category on Running Wolf’s Rant.