Chances are you or someone you know works remotely. In the near future, odds are you and many people you know will work remotely. Remote work is penetrating new industries and flourishing in old stalwarts like never before, thanks to faster fibre optic internet connections and innovations in relevant software applications.
IBM made waves recently when it called remote workers back to the office. This isn’t the first tech company to raise eyebrows by reneging this desirable perk. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously removed remote work privileges for many at Yahoo four years ago. However, despite a few outliers like these, remote work is here to stay.
The most desired work perks after health, dental, and vision insurance are flexible work arrangements. These include flexible hours, more vacation time, work-from-home options, and unlimited vacation.
Current StateAccording to a recent Gallup poll profiled in the New York Times, 43% of employed Americans said they had spent some time working remotely. The same poll recognised that workers are now using remote options as reasons to take or leave a job.
The breadth of remote work opportunities is as vast as the number of people that have taken part.
Laura Spawn, CEO of Virtual Vocations, a company dedicated to helping job seekers find telecommuting jobs, said: ‘During 2016 alone, we screened and approved more than 117,000 telecommute job openings in top career fields, from accounting and information technology to education and project management, and provided job search guidance and resources to more than one million telecommute job seekers.’
Growth & PlanningIf it’s not growing, it’s dying, and remote work is anything but dead.
With an increased focus on workplace technology and an improving economy making staff retention even more important, it is hard to imagine a scenario where remote work does not grow as a key benefit offered to employees of companies large and small alike.
Attracting and retaining employees is one of the many reasons remote work will continue to grow.
To help your team stay on task, project management and productivity tools will become even more important. The basic audio conference may not be enough, especially as tools become more lean and efficient. Having that time face-to-face can improve your personal connection. It’s imperative to find the right tools for communication, project planning, and staying on task.
This will help team members know what to do next and help them feel connected to the rest of the team. These tools become even more important, especially when feelings of loneliness or inferiority arise.
Make Yourself MemorableWhat many see as the downsides to remote work may instead be your ticket to success.
Three tips to making yourself memorable in the remote work economy of the future:
● Be present by eliminating distractions.● Speak up on conference calls.● Do extra work by going above and beyond the call of duty.
With an understanding of how remote work displaces one from the office theatre, it is easier to work on intentionally standing out. Kill the clichés of remote work by taking the kids to a sitter, keeping the pets fed and happy and the laundry machines idle. In other words, limit the noise. Voicing concerns and ideas on conference calls regularly and proactively is one way to help keep your name on top of mind among your peers. Another is by doing what many do in the traditional office: going above and beyond the call of duty. By performing extra duties for work, many of which can be done remotely, you will allow your ambition to shine bright enough for management to see.
Mostafa El-Bermawy is a start-up growth and marketing strategist. Over the past 8 years, Mostafa has helped brands such as American Express, P&G and Ford Motors refine their digital marketing strategies. Mostafa is also a regular tech contributor for Wired and BBC Arabia. He currently lives in New York and heads marketing at Workzone, a leading project management software start-up.
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