Why do people work remotely?

Remote work is on the rise. While the ability to work outside a corporate office has been feasible for decades as teleworking and sometime home office, remote working or work while travel is now becoming the mainstream.

Remote working is becoming an industry standard, especially among digital workers. However, many organisations are afraid of this departure from traditional working practices and are unsure how to manage it effectively.

The benefits of remote working

There is little doubt that a degree of remote working appeals to most employees. It provides flexibility, helps with childcare and cuts down wasted time and money spent commuting.

Remote working can be a great way to attract digital workers in a competitive market, as well as increase retention and improve staff morale. Reducing commuting also puts more money in employees pockets, effectively increasing their take home pay.

One of the big fears among employers is that remote workers will ‘goof off’ and be less productive. Remote workers might not necessarily work a traditional 9 to 5, but they do put the hours in and normally get more done than an office based worker.

Take for example a developer. 
When a developer is working, he is holding much of the code he is writing in his head. This requires a lot of concentration and even a 20 second interruption is enough for him to lose his train of thought. He then needs to revisit the code to once again build that mental model. Offices are full with these kinds of micro distractions in a way home is not.

Management of digital workers is a different proposition. These are highly skilled, self motivated, well paid individuals. The last thing they need is you constantly monitoring them.

There are loads of great tools to help a team work remotely.

Turning our attention to collaboration rather than pure communication,  start looking at colaborative software such as Basecamp. Also worth mentioning is Trello. Although not the most powerful of project management tools, it is great for managing agile projects and also for showing you at a glance who is working on what.

Knowing what other people are working on is a big component to feeling like a single team.

There has been a cultural paradigm shift in what society deems to be an appropriate workplace - and remote work has capitalized off of that newfound freedom.