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Investigating The Rise Of Remote Working

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Working from home

Regardless of sector or seniority, the internet has been changing not just the content and scope of our work, but our daily processes of communication and coordination, opening up the economy to new fields of success and opportunity.

At totaljobs, we’ve been considering the pros and cons of working from home. We’ve created a nifty infographic to visualise the changing faces of our workplaces and clarify exactly how a new way of working may impact on our day-to-day lives.

working from home infographic

Our contemporary connectivity has enabled instant communication and global trade. It has never been simpler to be so productive – or to procrastinate – and how we communicate with colleagues and clients has been transformed. Organisation and flexibility seem to be the watchwords of how the online world is changing our offline workplace reality.

Here, there or anywhere

Remote working is transforming how we do business. Cloud technology gives us ready access to work documents, wherever we are. Video conferencing allows us to e-meet with people all over the world. Telecommuting, as it has been coined in the US, is already thought to be a practical reality for up to as many as 45% of the workforce. According to a 2014 survey of business leaders, 34% of managers expect more than half of their colleagues to be working remotely by 2020.

This means big changes in offices across the country are not just speculative possibilities – transformation is happening now, and will continue.

For freelancers too, remote work is opening up new possibilities. Transient spells across a network of offices, not to mention costly travel, have been rendered unnecessary – home offices are now a reality for growing numbers of the workforce, rather than the reserve of the executive class.

Solving problems

Staying at home has a wide variety of benefits, for both the individual and the employer. Work becomes something that can fit to your body clock – if you’re not a morning person, wake up slowly and work later. There’s no need to bundle aboard trains and buses on an interminable commute if you can spend that time working and offering your employer more – not to mention reducing the number of cars on the road and the demand on transport.

Of course, there can be negatives. As an employer, monitoring your team’s progress and achievement can become more complicated, whilst individuals can suffer stress and isolation as a result of solitary work and the changing of long-held routines. But these challenges can be resolved: improved time management software and the development of new HR structures can make sure change doesn’t lead to corporate chaos.

Constant connectivity

Fundamental to the progress of remote working is the nationwide spread of reliable broadband coverage, particularly affordable, high-quality internet for the home. However, there remains room for improvement. Whilst the UK’s network is ranked highest out of the top five EU economies, nations such as the Netherlands are racing ahead – enjoying an average download speed of 12.5Mbits/sec, ahead of the UK’s credible 9.1Mbits/sec.

The further rollout of high-speed fibre optic broadband across the UK, particularly into rural areas, could potentially have a phenomenal impact on how we work – adding an estimated £17 billion to the economy every year through increased efficiency and opportunities for business. It’s also believed that improved connectivity when working remotely will free-up around 60 million hours of free time over the next decade, which can otherwise be spent more productively.

But as employees demand flexibility from their employers, so too employers will expect round-the-clock responsiveness and attention from their employees. Technology has enabled us to work whenever we can – but where will the workplace end and home begin?

Do you regularly work remotely or from home? Does it impact on the efficiency of your work? Let us know!

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14 Comments

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  1. Chris GardenerSaturday, 26 Sep, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I work based from home and commute around the London East Midlands area, I find that working from home can be isolating and cause stress when not speaking directly with a person but just using E mail or the phone,conversely it has given me a better work life balance and I can spend more time with my family. I agree with the comments above about being more productive when working at home you can set your own targets and plan your work load and time is not a constraint.

    Cost wise as I work for a company working from home is more cost efficient, however in my line of work I have to commute to people’s work places to see them, but my back up admin is better.

    I can only see this expanding with the improvements in communication technology and companies investment in using it more.

    • Sophie BianchiTuesday, 26 Jan, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Thanks for your insight Chris! Working from home can cause isolation and stress, which is why it is important to regularly interact with colleagues and friends.

  2. Vix CutlerSaturday, 23 Jan, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    My team are all remote workers, it enables the company we work for to get the best staff regardless of location. It works for us, some have kids, some have family members they are carers for, I am disabled. Home working for me means the difference between having a job and not having one because I am often unable to get up and out of the house. I love the flexibility offered by home working and it helps me manage my disability so I am not wearing myself out at work and unable to respond to home and family commitments.

    • Sophie BianchiTuesday, 26 Jan, 2016 at 9:31 am

      Hi Vix, thanks for your comment.
      I’m very happy to hear remote working has benefited you and your work!

    • FahidaSaturday, 11 Feb, 2017 at 9:50 am

      Hi Chris,

      I’m a freelance journalist from London and creating a video about the rise of remote work and how it helps people live a healthy work-life balance. I am interested in speaking to businesses who operate in this way. Is it possible to ask you a few questions?If so, please drop me an e-mail on fahida.begum@yahoo.co.uk or here.

      Thanks
      Fahida

  3. Patricia StewartSunday, 31 Jan, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Hi I was wondering how to get started on hardworking having difficulty finding a legit job. Thanks

    • Sophie BianchiMonday, 1 Feb, 2016 at 9:06 am

      Hi Patricia,
      Sorry to hear you have been having trouble with your job search. We recommend working hard on your CV and cover letters to make them the best they can be, and applying to relevant jobs on http://www.totaljobs.com. Let us know how you get on and good luck.

  4. Peter Howard WertheimSaturday, 9 Apr, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    With my wife Dayse Abrantes I have been working from home in Nova Friburgo, a couple of hours from the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We write for publications in the U.S. and Europe, undertake translation and proof reading work remotely. We are fluent in Portuguese, English, Spanish and Portuguese. The Brazilian government promised a revamped national broadband plan, with more government investment and the creation of “synergies” between the public and private sector to deliver improved Internet access services across the country.

    Despite the recession Brazil is currently experiencing, large communications projects such as the development of the country’s broadband infrastructure and the construction of the country’s own satellite have been spared from the budget cuts that have been announced over recent months.

    Rio de Janeiro has become a dangerous city. Constant urban violence, drug lords, constant muggings and kidnappings. We are here in Nova Friburgo, with a population of 200,000 people, colonized by the Swiss and the Germans. Large cities are becoming impossible to live in.

    Working from home is not for every body. It requires discipline. We deliver work to different time zones.A balance between work and leisure is difficult but possible to achieve.But over all working from home is cost efficient for us and our employers. We recommend it. If you wish to contact us: peterhw@frionline.com.br

    Peter Howard Wertheim and Dayse Abrantes.

  5. UgoSaturday, 9 Apr, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    My husband says he works from home but I haven’t seen him do any work since 2 years! Please help!!!!!!

  6. DianaSunday, 10 Apr, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Hi can you advice me how can I find real job to wark from home and what kind of job can I wark from home? Tank you!

  7. Mudassir AliSunday, 22 May, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Hello can you tell me how can i find real hob to work from home and what kind of job can i work from home? thank you for compliment brother

  8. brian cooperWednesday, 25 May, 2016 at 8:28 am

    i am retired and do part time work from home with visits to an office once or twice per week for face to face.

    i would like to expand by taking on additional contracts but at my age people tend to think i am almost a vegetable which is far from the truth where is the best area to advertise or pick up possible contracts as freelance and contract work seems to be mainly IT and i am basically manufacturing and logistics

  9. Barbos sorinSaturday, 28 May, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    I use to work in London and about and I was triving, but I got in back in Romania and me former wife and me Dad they send me to loonetic hause and force me to o damed pension with pity many. In present, I struggle to get any job because me former wife was working at conty hospital and lived for London, where I have ben, now I can’t get me driving license to deliver me work loude!!?
    I do Thank You for give me this opportunity to write me troubles!!?

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