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Remote working is a working style that allows one to work from anywhere away from the traditional workspace. It has helped millions of businesses survive and stay afloat during this crisis. Should remote working be considered in the long run?
Over the past months, governments, organisations, and individuals have embraced remote working as a means to ensure safety and limit the spread of the virus. For a working style that has helped millions of businesses survive and stay afloat during this crisis, is remote working something that should be considered in the long run?
Remote working is a working style that allows one to work from anywhere away from the traditional workspace. This could be any place that provides comfort and allows productivity like a coffee shop, home, library and it does not require proximity to the workplace or even the presence of co-workers.
Remote working which has been used interchangeably with Working from Home has recently become a norm to various organisations and individuals because of COVID-19. We have seen governments like that of Uganda asking people to work from home in the short run and organisations like Facebook and Twitter taking on remote working for the long run. Should every entity have a long term plan for working?
As we draw closer to the end of the decade, there will be lots of changes in the way we work characterized by the rise of the digital workforce, increased task automation, greater tech integration, improved internal communication, digital workplaces, greater inclusion and diversity and the rise of the alternative workforce, etc. For us to be ready for the “Future of work”, we need to come to terms with concepts like digitalisation and elements like remote working.
In all aspects, remote working has by far been made possible because of the existence of digital tools. Digital tools have enabled communication, decentralisation of work, project management, and collaboration because even remote working teams are expected to remain productive and deliver as in the usual office setting.
On the other side of the coin, millions of organisations across the world did not survive this wave of the pandemic because they did not have the right structures to enable remote working. The lessons from COVID-19 only suggest that each entity finds means to shift most of their work online as well as find means to digitalise their working processes as this can help them ensure continuity of work in dark times like these.
However, beyond the covid-19 crisis, remote working presents lots of opportunities and benefits to employers, employees, and businesses including increased productivity and performance, better work-life balance, less commute stress, and resource-saving, etc.
Whereas remote working may come with challenges like digital security issues but just like any other working style, it is important that every organisation weighs the benefits and costs associated with it before considering to take it on.
“Every organisation needs to evaluate the benefits and costs associated with working remotely to know what's best for a specific organisation's future. While working from home comes with benefits such as higher productivity, better morale, better retention rates, lower costs, etc. what is good for one organisation may not be good for another and this varies depending on the nature of work an organisation does, the people, and other factors.” Arthur Kakande, Researcher and Data Analyst.
For some organisations and individuals, the global health pandemic was by far the only reason that they adopted remote working; however, the benefits of working from home are enormous and I implore all of us to take on the opportunities that come with it.
Check out this Remote working Toolkit to explore the available tools you can use to remain productive while working from home. This should help guide your transition.