Ever since the fundamentals of work culture came into the picture, the location was a key factor in this. People use to move place to place, based on the job.
If we have to look back and see why the location was so depended, we get to know that infrastructure and technology were only available at few places and that was the reason why people use to travel for jobs.
We go back just 10 years ago and compare the mobile handset we have in the hand right now, we will realize what fantastic advancements have been made in the field of technology. The power we have right now in our hand (mobile phone) is way superior to the first personal computer which was released in 1975. Just in less than 50 years, we became so advanced and just think about the advancements that can be achieved in the next 50 years, it’s just crazily fantastic.
Rise of Remote Work
Internet was introduced to the world in 1991 and soon after idea of connecting telecommunication to internet followed, which was the base and in a way the very first step towards remote working.
About 15-years back, remote work usually meant customer service or telemarketing. Later, the whole concept of freelancing started and individual freelancers started popping up. Today, there is an immense number of freelancers in various different fields like graphic designers, web developers, accountants, writers and a lot more. Freelancing gave a heavy push to the remote working culture. There are tons of stories of employees leaving their jobs and starting on their own. There are few who never even went to jobs and straight started on their own.
Small companies who were struggling to find any sponsors, also take remote working as a solution to cut cost so they don’t have to invest in infrastructure for their offices. Medium to large organisations was reluctant to get into the idea of remote working.
Current State of Remote Work
A very popular company, “WordPress” is now working on 100% remote workers. They shut down their offices a few years ago. Here is a beautiful article from Harvard Business Review, which explains how WordPress is running with 100% remote workforce.
COVID-19 has hit the whole world where most of the countries are in lockdown, companies don’t have much choice but to start getting into the remote working culture to sustain. However, there are few companies in a certain field who can’t get into 100% remote working like Hospitality, Courier, etc. But maybe technology will take-over those fields in some way or another and the human-technician can handle them remotely. Henn-na Hotel of Japan is already moving in that direction which is running mostly by Robots. Check out the tour video by Wall Street Journal:
Future of Remote Work
Advancement in technology is made daily. With internet speeds going up and getting cheaper, remote work will be virtually the same as working in close proximity. AI is likely to play a major role in managing the remote employees and the way they connect.
There are positives for Companies as well because they don’t have to invest in large infrastructure and other hospitality expenses. However, the transition to remote work culture could be unsettling but with the right tech and hardworking employee, this can be a super seamless process.
The gig economy is booming since employees have started giving up their job and riding in freelance mode. Freelancers, especially Software Freelancers, can be considered a pioneer in remote working. There are quite a few areas where people start freelancing like Coaching, Training, Software Development, Event Management, etc. The power of freedom is just great and once you get a taste of it, you won’t be going back. Check out my article which shows Freelance vs Job.
“Remote work is this incredible invitation to really get good at building inclusive cultures where there’s a wide variety of types of people, and to build a culture where everyone feels included and everyone is experiencing ongoing growth and development on a regular basis. That’s the challenge, and it’s not an easy one. But the business isn’t easy.”– Shane Metcalf, 15Five