April 2, 2020

Remote Work: Types, Importance & Tools

Anshika Awasthi

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably come up with or given up on the idea of travelling to the office every day. No matter how pumped up you are for your new work project in office there comes a time when you don’t feel like to walk to that same desk every day.

It’s human nature. Your motivation tends to be short-lived, and easy to vanish.

Remember that late-night work emergency? That side-business idea you never implemented because you didn’t have enough time? Your nutrition plan? That workout regime?

Well

It’s practically human nature to seek motivation, recognise it and work on it for some 14 days,14 weeks or even 14 months until you’re past the peak of discomfort. You don’t realise it’s happening. Your aspirations fade. You become stuck.

But,

The best thing about all such professions is:

They get things done.

How?

The solution to that is ‘Remote Work’.

What is Remote Work?

Remote work is a working structure that allows a professional to work outside of the traditional workplace. A working arrangement in which a person does not commute or travel to a central place of work.

Let’s simplify it:

Instead of walking to a designated desk in the office, the task can be completed at a place an employee pleases to. That can be her/his home, a co-working space, or maybe a beach. Remote work comes with flexibility and independence.

The Flexibility of designing a day so that her/his personal and professional lives can co-exist peacefully. Independence of designing it the way he/she wants.

In the current scenario of coronavirus- a global pandemic, remote work is gaining more acceptance.

But,

Remote work was never a foreign topic too especially in times of technological advancement. Wider broadband and easy to access WIFI services, Video conferencing, clouding, emerging software companies like ‘Citrix’ has only smoothened remote work. There’s a paradigm shift in working culture with increased frequency in people opting to work remotely. This concept is expected to fuel to popularity, passing on to millennials.

Types of Remote Work

Telework

Telework, also known as telecommuting can be defined as the type of remote work delegated to an employee which is performed within the vicinity of the office geographic location protocols.

An employee is not generally expected to visit the office, but might have to reside in a certain region, state or country. Depending upon the geographical protocols provided by the office.

Teleworking can require an employee to be available for in-person meetings, visit local clients or be available for team-building exercises.

Advantages of teleworking are as following;

  • Reduction in daily commuting expenses.
  • Reduced shipping cost and time of providing equipment by the company to employees.
  • Avoid paying of sales tax in the states where teleworkers are based.

Fully Remote

A fully remote work is a situation where an employee is free to work from the place of her/his liking, required she/he has needed tools (discussed in the latter part of the article). A fully remote worker is never required to visit the office’s geographical location.

For example, a person living in India is working for an American company, getting paid in sweet, swift, stable U.S dollars.

This concept is gaining popularity and adapted by many companies as it allows the company to have access to a much wider talent pool from all over the world.

Flexible work

Flexible work is remote working with flexibility either location, timing or both.

  • Location flexibility – a job condition which provides an employee with the flexibility to work from any place outside the office. This can include both teleworking and fully remote working.
  • Timing flexibility- a job condition which requires an employee to provide flexible time hours of working. This can include teleworking, fully remote working and even an employee working from a traditional office setting.

In a traditional office setting, an experienced employee whose job requirement merely include working in a computer, handling calls or video conferencing can negotiate for flexible work hours. Senior employees with better work track are usually the ones preferred, pertaining to the fact that they are more likely to accomplish the goals while working outside the office or within flexible work hours.

Let’s discuss some of such professions:

  1. FREELANCING

Freelancing is working remotely on a contractual basis. Freelancers are location and work hour, independent. Such professionals decide their own pricing for a particular contract. They set their own hours and are not bound daily by the organisation.

Once the contract is over, they collect their paycheck and jump on other contractual work.

It’s probably the best position to work remotely.

  1. ENTREPRENEUR

Entrepreneurs don’t usually start big hence, they tend to work remotely with a smaller team, limited resources without fancy office. Before starting as an entrepreneur, working remotely largely depends on the type of business they are in. only after weighing the pros and cons, entrepreneurs calculate decision of working remotely with their team.

  1. ONLINE BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS

If you own an online business, you’re in the best situation of working remotely- Congratulations! Online business professionals are the one who creates a business based on market demands or simply out of their previous freelancing opportunities. Let it be a blogging website or a website providing a service, online business is one of the best remote working options.

  1. SIDE HUSTLERS

A side hustle is remote working, a professional prefers doing besides her/his main job. It’s performed mainly for added income. Diversifying one’s skill set and income is a good way to enhance professional capabilities and some additional cash into pockets. You can have more than one side hustles.

Importance of Remote working

Increases productivity

Working according to one’s flexibility comes with increased productivity. According to the Global State of Remote Work, 79% of respondents agree that working remotely makes them less stressed more productive. Fewer people around can help boost concentration, resulting in higher productivity.

Although remote workers go to lengths to deliver the task in comparison to the office-employees.

Cost-saving

The idea of commuting daily to the office doesn’t always come easy on the wallet.

Commuting daily comes with a big cost. Not only that working in the office increases food expense too.

Remote employees, on the other hand, are cost-effective for their company. No transportation for the employee plus zero resource consumption of the company office. To put that learning into perspective, flexible jobs reported that employers save $22,000 per remote project per year.

Boosts health and wellness

In a survey by Owl Labs, 83% of the respondent turned out to agree, that working remotely has made them much happier which has consistently increased their health and wellness.

Among other parts of survey Owl Lab stated that remote work or the ability to work remotely makes employees happier, more trusted, a better mix of professional and personal life.

Moreover,

In this current scenario of this deadly pandemic, many companies are encouraging remote work for the better health and safety of their employees. While this pandemic may end soon but the culture of remote work is here to stay.

Provides flexibility

Remote work brings the flexibility of managing work timeline. Probably the foremost reason for people to change to remote workstyle. Professionals aren’t required at their desk at a set time frame.

Indeed,

They tend to have time to focus on things which matter outside the office. A remote worker has the ability to start work in late hours, or maybe take time off for a little banter with friends.

It’s getting better,

They can even start an online course or maybe focus more on a side passion such as writing, painting etc.

Boosts motivation

Motivation at the workplace is directly proportional to productivity. Motivated individuals allow the organisation to achieve a higher level of outputs. Remote work drives efficiency.

Approximately 50% of employees feel more motivated by working from home. The fact that they have an environment, freedom of what to wear boosts motivation levels.

Improves work-life balance

Because of the flexibility work-life offers, it smoothens work-life balance. A LogMeIn survey reported that people’s major life decision was influenced by working from home or not.

Taking care of parents, children or starting a family are some more reasons why remote work is important for them.

How to work remotely?

Sold on this pretty appealing lifestyle?

Here’s how you can start living the remote work lifestyle:

NEGOTIATE WITH COMPANY

Let’s face it, not all job requires you to be in office. Especially with technological advancement, Remote culture is on its rise.

A company like Citrix provides services and application that operate on a VPN, is encouraged by numerous companies around the globe. It lets you access the company’s office desktop on your remote laptop as if you are sitting at it but inside a window. You are working from your laptop but it’s almost as if you’re locked into your office desktop.

CHOOSE REMOTE WORK CAREER

Have you heard an author visiting office daily, tirelessly writing from 9-5 and coming back home only to find his boss didn’t like his work? Now he has to write it all again?

Probably no.

Professions like author, blogger, photographer, artist are not desk jobs and doesn’t require 9-5 office presence.

Don’t get confused with,

big firms where you are working as a content writer. Such job profiles can demand flexible job policy. It’s not going to be an easy hunt but talking with the manager and figuring out what’s best for the organization and according to remote work policy of the company you can work your way out as a remote employee.

Freelancing is one such job position which is best suited for remote work. You think about your clientele and whether the situation demands meeting them in person or could be completed via mails,

The decision is yours.

Entrepreneurs are another example of work culture who doesn’t always start with fancy offices and desk duties. They do work tirelessly for days and night but remotely. People who are motivated innovator and self- starter falls under entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs who start remotely tends to take a leap and consider taking their team along with them for a ride.

Tools required in Remote work

In all the types of remote work described above, you’ll require certain basic and must-to-have tools as below:

Communication tools

Tools that offer real-time messaging, video-chat, video-sharing feature comes under this category. Examples – Slack, Skype for business, G-suite etc.

Management tools

Remote work requires strong work management system which is essential for productivity. Cloud-based management tools such as Trello, Basecamp are such examples.

Security tools

Working remotely means working independently on a public or personal network which does not always come with security. In order to provide secure cloud-based networks like Citrix comes to rescue. Such software allows an employee to work on their independent laptop while being logged in into the company’s office laptop.

Remote work tools vary according to the requirement of job one is in.

For instance, a software engineer is required to have a webcam, video conferencing software, cloud, microphone etc. Majorly depending upon the work task requirement. Whereas an online teaching person will require a teaching software, webcam, microphone etc.

Nonetheless,

For whatever position or job task you seek, make sure that:

  • Employer and employees completely understand the requirement and expectations.
  • Odds against different time zones, different locations are being met.
  • Employers and employees have access to all essential data, tools and materials.

No matter what, or where you work, working remotely comes with many challenges. Being sure of above-mentioned tools will help you kick start with basic remote work.

BOTTOM LINE

Remote work has been a trending concept since 2000. During times of such manmade disaster it’s typical for the industries to shift remote working more than ever.

Coronavirus has forced the transition to remote work more quickly than expected. Pandemic or no pandemic, remote work is here to stay.

Now that you’ve got the hang of it,

Your trial periods start’s now.

Be sure to keep up an agreement of sincerity and productivity before committing to any remote work you choose. Let it be work-from-home or work-on-backpack, one thing is sure:  you’re going to enjoy this new revolution of freedom and independence.

Happy Remote working!

About the author

Competitive, real; loves to keep working for what it wants. An extrovert who lives by her own ideas and methods.


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