Culture

What Exactly Is Remote Work and How Is It Changing?

Remote work is a job that allows workers to work outside of a traditional office or company setting. With today’s technology, it’s easy to see that daily work tasks can be completed away from the office with equal or even better efficiency.

Remote work has the potential to give part-time employees the flexibility to work full time and save companies money spent on office space and supplies. For parents with small children, remote work may be the only way to achieve a sustainable income source. Working from home can provide solutions for talented professionals with disabilities and employees with transportation difficulties.

With all of the benefits provided by remote work, you may be wondering why anyone still goes to the office. Technically, it would be impossible for all jobs to be done remotely. Obviously, construction workers can’t erect a building from the comfort of home, and there will always be a need for some workers to be present at the offices that represent professional businesses. Additionally, not every person is suited to the lifestyle of remote work. To fully understand working remotely, it’s important to learn the facts.

How is remote work different from telecommuting?

Either way, a home office is key | Submitted by Damien Housseau

While remote work and telecommuting both allow you some time away from the office, there are some key differences in the way these employment styles are structured. The terms working remotely, telecommute, working from home, and telework are often used interchangeably. However, there are some technical differences in their meanings.

Telecommuting

Telecommuting is technically the act of completing work projects outside of the workplace (telework). However, it’s not uncommon for telecommuters to spend some of their workdays at the office. Telecommuting workers are often expected to be present at meetings or available to check in with their manager regularly. Telecommuting gives workers who value social interaction flexibility while still being very much a part of the team. 

Remote work

Working remotely implies that the employee is not in the area of the company they work for. While this isn’t always true, it’s generally expected that remote workers will not be required to work at the job site. There are plenty of misconceptions about working remotely including the idea that the work is always being done at home.

Many remote workers prefer to work in public places including coffee shops or coworking spaces. Some remote workers even choose to travel and complete tasks from different locations around the world. 

Remote work is changing

Many remote workers are taking the concept to the next level. | Submitted by Kendal Paley

In the past, full time sustainable remote work wasn’t a reality for most employees. Without the convenience of email, videoconference, or even dependable internet access, the necessary communication wasn’t possible to support productive work outside the office. Remote work was restricted mainly to tasks that could be completed by telephone like customer service or telemarketing.

Today, many businesses provide employees with choices that may include remote work or telecommuting for a portion of their work projects. These models offer employees a more flexible schedule and also help businesses save money by eliminating the need for office space. While some businesses are embracing the trend of remote work by eliminating company workspace and depending on co-working spaces, others only allow limited opportunities to work away from the office.

It is impossible to know what the future holds for remote workers. However, predictions suggest that remote work will become expected as more companies embrace technology that allows them to work away from the office. When companies have the ability to hold virtual meetings and the training to manage a remote workforce the pros will far outweigh the cons. This technology shows promise in allowing both businesses and employees to save time and money while still accomplishing the same tasks. 

Remote work isn’t the professional solution for every employee, but it can create opportunities for the millions of people who can’t work on a traditional schedule. If you’ve been trying to find a way to get away from the office, consider seeking part-time remote tasks to learn if the remote worker lifestyle is right for you.

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