Why Working Remotely Really Makes Sense, Even Before the Coronavirus

As we adjust to our new normal, let's talk about the positive changes that come with remote work.

Flamingo Images/ Shutterstock
Flamingo Images/ Shutterstock

If your LinkedIn feed has become like mine lately, you’ve been seeing lots of headlines about people working from home because of this coronavirus. I even got a LinkedIn notification about how recruiters are now doing job interviews via video rather than face-to-face to avoid close interaction.

As someone who’s been working remotely successfully for quite some time now, I’m really left wondering: did we really need something like a global virus outbreak to help us realize how effective remote working can be? But we humans can be like that sometimes: we need be pushed towards change sometimes, don’t you agree?

Here are my top 3 reasons why we should be giving remote working ‘a go’ these days, whether we’re being hit by a pandemic or not:

1) It can actually create higher productivity

I’ve worked in both offices and from home, and I consider myself a creative as a lot of my what I do revolves around creating content … including writing blog posts (really need to concentrate there!🤓), social media pics, and creating copy and other types of content. A lot of offices today are open offices, which can be really counterproductive when it comes to creative — or any type — work. Have you ever tried to concentrate and get something done while trying to block out a neighbouring conversation about the latest Kardashian gossip? Not fun, believe me! So really, if you’re in a role that requires a lot of thinking and creativity, open offices could be damaging your productivity.

2) You likely already communicate through computers most of the time anyways

This one is pretty straight forward. You’ve likely experienced this yourself: you are working two feet away from someone, but your default form of communication is email! At least this keeps office noise to a minimum … but at the same time, you likely have had the thought cross your mind that you could be doing your work from your kitchen table or wherever makes sense for you. When I had office jobs, about 95% of what I did most days was done in front of a computer! The rest of the time was spent in face-to-face meetings, which are likely being replaced be teleconference calls during the coronavirus pandemic. I feel like a lot of workplaces are very similar to what I experienced, yet many managers still want “buts on seats” (as the saying goes 😉). Don’t get me wrong, I see the value in team meetings, but I really think that if teams are working from computers all day long anyways, why not give them the opportunity to do so from wherever?

3) It’s better for the environment — and cities in general

Think about rush hour, and how our roads are filled with cars and buses in the early morning and after work. This means that a lot of CO2 is being emitted because of people needing to rush to their desks and turn on their computers. Think about offices with their lights and heating on (if it’s winter in northern climates) on all day — and night in some cases!— while homes are often being heated at the same time! Also think about the high overheads and rent that a lot of companies have to pay, and how these buildings, often in prime real estate locations, sit empty on the evenings and on weekends. And then there’s the resources needed to produce these buildings in the first place! Imagine if these huge office buildings were transformed into liveable spaces, maybe even with green-roofs and some coworking spaces inside for those wanting more of a social-work scene?

Photo by Reinvent Paris, a building by A2M architects, http://www.a2m.be/

I often wonder if this trend towards working from home is part of larger shift were experiencing. We are no longer in the industrial revolution, when most people had to go to work in factories. Are we moving towards something else — a better quality of life fueled by technology? I hope so! 🙏🏻

In order for working remotely to work, those in charge need to have trust. And that can really be a difficult thing, but building that trust is definitely possible.

And then there are those jobs that will likely always be on-the-job ones: delivery drivers, hairdressers, bakers, cooks, bartenders, food producers, artisans, farmers, etc. We need all sorts of crafts to have a society that flourishes and functions, do you agree?

Originally published on LinkedIn.com

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