Remote working refers to the use of telecommunication technology to connect to a workspace from a remote location which allows an employee of a company to work without being physically present at a company office. This method of working has become massively popular within the past year due to the pandemic, with many people using it to work from home during the social distancing mandates and lockdown periods. Remote working and working from home are distinct in that the latter is a subset of the former where remote working is more general and includes working from literally anywhere except the office. Common examples for this include parks, libraries, coffee shops, etc. Certain companies that have adopted working from home and remote working during the pandemic are considering making a permanent or long-term switch to remote working for employees where they need not be physically present at their workplace. This is largely due to the forced switch to working from home revealing the untapped potential for both companies and employees that working from home can provide. This article describes the state of working from home and remote working and why many companies are considering changing their approach to employment.
Reduced Physical Space Requirement
A standard organisation with all of its staff present physically has to rent or otherwise acquire space for the entire staff team, their equipment, and the support staff for an office. This is dramatically reduced if the only staff present at the office are those whose duties cannot be performed remotely. This allows companies to switch to cheaper office spaces such as small office space for rent and save money. Moreover, it eliminates the need for the company to purchase and maintain their own office equipment, although they may still need to compensate their employee for the same functionality.
Due to the ability for employees to set their own working hours, and take breaks as they see fit, there has been a notable increase in productivity among employees who work from home. In addition, there is also the time saved on commute to work as working from home completely eliminates the need to travel to a workplace. This additional time, and the absence of micromanagement have allowed employees to control their own working hours and work at their own pace, which has resulted in substantial performance increases.
Working from home has no negative impact on collaborative efforts, and may even have improved it due to the ability for more people to work on the same team using modern technology such as Zoom, Discord, Microsoft Teams etc. Employees are able to work across large physical distances instantaneously using modern technology and upload their work to company servers.
Companies in the software and tech industries such as Adobe, Apple, and Facebook have all released statements declaring their interest in seeing a long-term increase in the proportions of their employees working remotely. This is seen as a way to increase productivity and decrease costs, while reducing the burden on employees.