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How Remote Work Is Changing And What It Means For Business
Let’s face it: the 9-5 lifestyle of the past isn’t working anymore. Workers of today are overworked, burnt out, and ready for something new. The workplace of tomorrow looks a lot different than we’re used to, and that’s a good thing. We already know that the number of freelancers is on the rise, but what about remote working?
It turns out remote work isn’t just for the self-employed. More than half of hiring managers say that remote work among full-time employees is also becoming common. The adoption of a flexible workforce has been years in the making, and it’s starting to spread like wildfire across industries.
What does the rise of remote work mean for business today? How can you learn from these changes to improve your own workplace?
The History of the Workday
Though it might feel like it, the United States (and most other Western nations, for that matter) hasn’t always had the 40-hour workweek. It all started with the Ford Motor Company which was the first to adopt a five-day workweek in 1926. From there, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act which limited the American workweek to 44 hours. Before this, it was common for companies to overwork employees to no end.
What’s the benefit of cutting back hours? When employees have more free time, they’re able to spend that money on leisure activities and products. This makes a stronger consumer force, and it’s great for business across the board.
Today, in the age of computers and technology beyond belief, we’re still sticking to the Ford Motor Company’s example from the 1920s. To say this is outdated would be an extreme understatement. Luckily, remote work has become more common, and it’s been pushing out the 40-hour week for good.
Introducing Flexible Workers
Because there’s a shortage of high-quality employees for top positions, many executives are finding new ways to appeal to talent. This means adopting a flexible workforce in which not all employees work from the same location. Not only is there more use of freelancers, but full-time employees are offered more options for defining their schedule on their own terms.
Thanks to cloud computing, it’s easier than ever to get work done no matter where employees are physically located. Additionally, platforms like Humanity make it possible to keep track of scheduling and time regardless of the traditional 8-hour workday timeclock.
While many employers are worried that when employees work remotely they’ll slack off, but research suggests the opposite. Humans like to feel in control of their time. They like to feel trusted by their employers, and this leads to them making smarter choices about how they spend their time working. For younger professionals, flexible scheduling is shown to increase productivity. This is a win/win we can all get behind.
Adapting the Remote Mentality
How can you adapt these changes into your own workplace? First, recognize areas where you can provide employees increased flexibility in their own daily schedules. If you’re not ready to allow remote working, maybe you’re able to offer more flexible breaks or starting hours.
These small changes show employees you value their time, and that you’re willing to create a workplace that works for them.
One of the new challenges presented by the rise of remote work is the lack of remote work policies. This is a loose area that’s in need of development as companies continue to experiment with telecommuting. However, it’s an area worth exploring with your employees. Flexible teams are the way of the future, and it’s better to jump on this trend while it’s still fresh.
In this day and age, companies can use any edge they can get to attract the best talent. Remote and flexible working is just the new normal. Employees deserve to work in a setting they feel comfortable and at the times they’re the most productive. Stop working like it’s 1926 and welcome in a new era.