Working from the luxury of your own home – it’s an ideal a lot of us dream about.
Now remote working in the UK – the professional term it is known for – is catching up with America to become the norm for more than 70% of the UK working population by 2020. This is according to a report by the Word Foundation, of Lancaster University, which highlighted that, of the 500 managers surveyed, 54% felt that they got more work done, while 41% felt empowered in their jobs.
The Remote Working Trend
Dan Schawbel, of Forbes Magazine, writes about remote working becoming a growing trend for employers hiring more freelancers and virtual workers than ever before to work alongside their employees for a one-off or a series of projects.
Employers recognise and value freelancers for the unique skillsets they can bring to a business, their flexibility of working – not to mention the money they save employers in terms of office costs and benefits, such as annual leave, pension contributions and healthcare. Virtual workers tend to be self-employed, accessible and do not have the needs of employees, such as annual or sick leave. The benefits of a home office and coming into the office as needed for meetings, are great.
Technology Enables Remote Working
With applications including Dropbox, cloud storage and applications through Google, teams of staff can easily share documents and files, updating and maintaining important data. Virtual meetings through communication channels, such as Skype and What’s App, has made remote working easier than ever to enable business objectives and goals to be achieved.
More than this, these technological applications has enabled cross-country employment, enabling businesses to seek staff outside of their country. Remote workers can also extend the offer of their services to overseas businesses. Websites such as People Per Hour and Upwork have also made international remote working possible.
Employers More Open to Remote Working
The report from the Work Foundation highlights statistics from the US that as much as 89% of the population prefer to have the choice about where and when they work, rather than remaining in one office. HR professionals have stated that the opportunities for remote working will increase substantially.
The UK is certainly opening up its doors to the benefits of enabling remote working. According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), in 2015 the number of remote workers had risen by nearly a quarter of a million over 10 years. Part of the reason for this, according to TUC’s report, is due to societal changes in terms of family commitments, work-life balance and the number of women who have not been able to get work in a traditional, 9-5 office job, due to family commitments or the cost of childcare. TUC General SecretaryFrances O’Gradystates that: “Modern home-working is good for the economy, as it helps businesses hold on to talented staff and boosts productivity. And it allows those with caring responsibilities or a disability greater access to the jobs market.” (TUC, 2015)
With new technology and IT programmes becoming easier to access for people, the arena is of remote working is a modern way of working that can appeal – and be available – to many.