February 7, 2019
4 min read
Digital technology has transformed the way we work and where we can work. As more and more teams move towards a global workflow, more and more workers are making the choice to work remotely, otherwise known as telecommuting. With the option and ability to work from home and the increasing popularization of co-working spaces like WeWork, ideas of the traditional eight hour workday within a cubicle have largely dissipated.
In a 2018 global study, Swiss office services provider IWG surveyed 18,000 business professionals across 96 international companies on the evolving perceptions of remote work. From the responses accumulated, IWG reported that 70 percent of professionals telecommute at least once a week, while 53 percent work remotely for at least half of the week.
“If you offer workers the chance to work where they need to be, and not where they are told to go to, it completely transforms their view of the company, they are more productive,” said IWG Chief Executive Mark Dixon in a 2018 interview with CNBC.
Dixon’s claim of remote work improving employee welfare isn’t unsubstantiated. The same IWG study found that businesses offering telecommuting to employees reaped benefits in the following areas:
With these numbers it’s clear that telecommuting isn’t just a passing business trend and can actually help companies and teams achieve their goals.
However, the benefits to remote work aren’t just for companies and organizations. Employees are enjoying the perks on an individual level too.
Here are three ways telecommuting has improved the work days for the modern professional:
Perhaps the biggest benefit to telecommuting is the flexibility it grants employees. From more sleep to healthier diets to regular exercise to family time and travel, the ability to freely choose when to get things done has allowed remote workers to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Plus, being able to step away from your computer and hit the gym can really get your creative juices flowing and grant you a fresh perspective on how to handle the next item on your to-do list.
Flexible scheduling also means you get to work when you feel you’re at your most productive. Employees who telecommute are not so much tied down to the 9–5 work day and can instead choose when to work at a time that works best for them.
If you’re not so much of an early bird, you can take your time getting the day started and let yourself re-charge your batteries before tackling your agenda. On the other hand, if you find yourself ready to hit the ground running at 6 in the morning, then you can do that too! It’s all a matter of riding the productivity wave when and where you feel it, and having the freedom to do it at your own pace.
Working remotely is usually associated with being isolated from the rest of your team. And while this may have been true in the past, technology has allowed us to connect across timezones, borders, and regions conveniently and regularly. With the advent and spread of professional communication platforms like Slack, keeping in touch with your team is easier than ever before.
Setting up a weekly check-in with your team or one-on-one meetings with colleagues are a fantastic way to communicate your progress and your project contributions. Not to mention, individual calls don’t always have to be about work. They’re also a great place for you to share life updates and can give you the opportunity to connect with your teammates on a more personal level. Doing so will only build team camaraderie and it’ll feel like you’ve been in the office with them all along.
The number of remote workers is only expected to increase as companies untether themselves from the notion of a physical space for teams to collaborate and work together.
Employees are also embracing telecommuting with open arms, as evidenced in Buffer’s 2018 State of Remote Work report. Surveying more than 1,900 remote workers from around the globe, Buffer found that 90 percent of telecommuters planned on working remotely for the rest of their careers — a hefty change from the notion that all team members need to be in the same room to get things done.
So, maybe it’s time to update the old saying “home is where the heart is,” to “home is where the productivity is.”
Thinking of going remote? Then make sure you check out Ruum. At Ruum, we’re on a mission to streamline collaboration and project management in the cloud, which means more flexibility for you and your team regardless of where you’re located. It’s the one place that shows you where your team’s at, project timeline progress, and what your next steps should be.
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