Last  week, I got a chance to work remotely for an entire week. Neither was I  sent on a some business trip and nor was I on vacation. I had a minor  accident and had to rest for a week. But though it was not for a good  reason, I absolutely loved working from home. I was really productive  and the best part of it is, at the end of the day, I did not feel  drained of energy with an urge to just jump into my bed. Let me tell you  why.

Remote is the future

This  is a topic that has been debated long enough. Some companies let their  employees work remote while the others make it mandatory for employees  to come to office. Basecamp is company that famously advocates the idea of remote work whereas companies like Yahoo had problem with employees working from home.  But for numerous reasons, remote work is here to stay. Technology has  advanced enough for a company to have it’s employees completely remote  working from their home offices in different cities, countries or  continents.

There  are various reasons that remote working is here to stay and in coming  years will be more and more popular. I can think of few reasons based on  my experience.

It’s your home

Do  I need to elaborate on this? Everyone in their right mind will love to  be at home. The familiarity and the comfort of the home cannot be taken  away by any office, no matter how much you love your workplace. You need  not even dress up and start working in your t-shirts and shorts. At  home you have the control over your circumstances and you are seldom in a  situation where you end up in situation from which it is difficult to  get out of.

Being  at home also lets you relax and rest whenever you need it. More work  happens when you take breaks in between and recharge yourself. This lets  you to have more focused work to be done with intervals of rest in  between. Being in office, you always are at somebody’s mercy. Words like  urgent, asap, overdue are few of them that take your focus away and make you shift from one task to another.

Working  from home also lets you have personal time. It might be to go to the  bank on a weekday or to tend to your garden or pet. This takes off the  stress of continuous work and eliminates the work fatigue. Everything  you need is within your reach and you need not waste half an hour to get  a drink from your office cafeteria, just walk up to your fridge and you  have it at your disposal.

Spending  time with family takes a hit when you are working five days a week. But  when you are working from home, you get to spend good amount of time to  spend with your family. This might have some side effects, but family  is important. Whatever you might say, home is home.

No commute!

This  one is my favourite. I absolutely hate commuting to office. The  traffic, the pollution and the weather, everything makes it such a  dreadful experience. Before I moved my house near to office, it used to  take me an hour and half to reach office. It was a tiring commute. By  the time I reach office I was completely drained and had no energy left.  In a twenty four hour day, I was spending three hours traveling to and  from office. That is 12.5% of you time.  Thats 60 hours a month! That’s more than a week’s worth of working  hours! Not only does it take three hours everyday, it renders the hours I  spend after coming back home to be completely devoid of energy to be  really able to enjoy the time at home in the evenings. Even now staying  closer, I end up spending an hour and half everyday commuting.

The  time I spend traveling could easily be spent on something more  productive. It makes no difference if I go in car or bike, I am  exhausted all the same. But in the past week, staying at home, I was  energetic throughout the day since all I had to do was to get off my  bed, get freshed up and takes few steps to my workstation at home.  Evening, once I was done, just move back to my living room, chill out  for a bit and go back to sleep. I wish I could do this all through my  life!

Tech is here

Few  years back, the concept of remote work wouldn’t have worked out that  well simply because the technology wasn’t there. In the age of paper  files and snail mail, this would’ve been an impossible feat. But now  that we are in 21st century where all the technology is available to us  to be as connected as being in the next cubicle with a person.

The  previous generation finds it difficult to comprehend the idea of remote  work because they are used to the closed office cubicles with all  employees in one office building. Those days to get work done, you had  to be in the same location as the team that you are working with. From 9  to 5, you just did your job and came back home. Nothing after that. But  in the present day we have tools that help us share data, communicate  etc. Microsoft Lync, Skype or Google hangouts can be used to have a  business meeting, Basecamp, Asaana or Trello can be used for project  management and Slack can be used for instant communication and file  sharing. For collaborative work, tools like Github help employees to  share and work.

So  it is no more the time that communication required hours and days, you  are now as connected with someone across the globe as you are with  someone sitting in your own house. This perfectly fits in a remote  working environment. All it requires is to learn the tools and use them  as you find fitting and you are never away from your team ever. That to  me is amazing!

Time and place

Today,  most of the companies are spread across different geographies. Gone are  the days when employees were restricted to a city or a place. Now there  is no distinction between time zones or city and countryside. With  remote work, you get to choose where to work from.

I  was able to take care of my duties last week sitting in my chair at my  home because of internet. If I was somewhere in a village in Kerala with  good internet connectivity, I could’ve been as productive as I was.  Even working across different timezones are not an issue if planned  properly.

Save resources

Working  remotely immensely reduces the need for bigger infrastructure.  Companies can save a large amount of money without any dedicated office  infrastructure. A fraction of that can be spent in getting tools that  will help in being connected without boundaries.

For  the employees, they don’t necessarily have to move to cities and end up  paying more for housing and commuting. Rather they can stay back in the  countryside and enjoy all the benefits. There is a misconception that  work can happen only in cities. With a laptop and internet, you can be  as connected and be active in community as anyone.

All  this being said, remote working has it’s own demerits. Things like  connecting with your colleagues over a lunch or at water-cooler will  never happen. But all things considered, the advantages outweigh the  disadvantages at any point. I see the future will be remote work,  someday all companies will realise the merits and implement it. At least  most of them.

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash


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