Remote working is a means of working beyond the confines of a traditional, centralized workplace using digital technology.
|Definition||Remote Working, also known as telecommuting or telework, refers to a work arrangement where employees perform their job tasks from a location outside of the traditional office environment. It allows individuals to work from home, co-working spaces, or other remote locations using digital tools and technology to connect with colleagues, collaborate on projects, and fulfill job responsibilities. Remote working can be either full-time or part-time, depending on the organization’s policies. It has become increasingly prevalent due to advancements in technology and changing work preferences.|
|Key Concepts||– Digital Connectivity: Remote working relies on high-speed internet access and digital communication tools, such as video conferencing, email, and project management software. – Flexibility: Employees have the flexibility to choose their work location and schedule, enabling a better work-life balance. – Remote Collaboration: Collaboration with colleagues, teams, and clients is conducted online, making effective communication and project management crucial. – Productivity: The success of remote working hinges on maintaining or even enhancing productivity levels while working outside the traditional office. – Remote Policies: Organizations establish remote work policies and guidelines to manage remote teams effectively.|
|Characteristics||– Geographical Independence: Remote workers can be located anywhere with internet access, allowing organizations to tap into a global talent pool. – Self-discipline: Remote employees must manage their time and tasks independently, requiring self-discipline and time management skills. – Remote Tools: The use of various digital tools and software is essential for remote work, including virtual meetings, cloud storage, and project management platforms. – Communication Skills: Effective written and verbal communication is crucial for remote collaboration and staying connected with colleagues. – Work-Life Balance: Remote working offers the potential for improved work-life balance, although boundaries may blur without careful management.|
|Implications||– Cost Savings: Remote working can reduce overhead costs for organizations, including office space and utilities. – Talent Attraction: Companies can attract talent from diverse geographic locations, expanding the pool of potential employees. – Productivity Gains: Some remote workers report increased productivity due to fewer office distractions and commuting time. – Work-Life Balance: Employees may experience improved work-life balance, reducing stress and burnout. – Environmental Impact: Reduced commuting can lead to lower carbon emissions and a smaller environmental footprint.|
|Advantages||– Flexibility: Remote working offers employees the flexibility to create a work environment that suits their needs and preferences. – Access to Talent: Organizations can tap into a global talent pool, enabling them to hire the best candidates regardless of location. – Cost Savings: Reduced office space and related expenses can lead to significant cost savings for businesses. – Increased Productivity: Many remote workers report increased productivity due to fewer office distractions. – Work-Life Balance: Improved work-life balance can lead to happier and more engaged employees.|
|Drawbacks||– Isolation: Remote workers may experience feelings of isolation and loneliness due to limited in-person social interactions. – Communication Challenges: Effective communication can be challenging, leading to misunderstandings or misalignment on projects. – Work-Life Boundaries: Maintaining clear boundaries between work and personal life can be difficult when working from home. – Technology Issues: Technical glitches or connectivity problems can disrupt remote work. – Security Concerns: Data security and privacy issues may arise when working remotely, requiring robust cybersecurity measures.|
|Applications||– Knowledge Work: Remote working is common in knowledge-based industries such as technology, marketing, and consulting. – Customer Support: Customer support representatives can work remotely, handling inquiries through digital channels. – Education: Many educators and trainers offer remote instruction and online courses. – Freelancing: Freelancers and independent contractors often work remotely on various projects. – Emergency Situations: Remote work can be adopted during emergencies, such as natural disasters or health crises, to ensure business continuity.|
Understanding remote working
While many associate remote work with the advent of the internet or even the coronavirus pandemic, it has existed since the 1970s.
Remote working exists in many forms, including:
The explosion in popularity of digital learning platforms means that many teachers can work remotely in a variety of individual or group formats.
Teachers can also work remotely when teaching students who live in areas without access to schools.
The archetypal remote worker is usually a writer who is well placed to take advantage of high-speed internet and a penchant for the low cost of living in many third-world countries.
The internet is enabling healthcare professionals to interact with their patients online.
Prescriptions, consultations, and post-op care are but some of the services that these professionals offer remotely.
The difference between remote working and working from home
In understanding remote working, it’s important to make the distinction between remote work and working from home.
The latter is a temporary arrangement that occurs sporadically.
For example, an office worker may work from home on the odd day where a meeting has not been scheduled or they need to work uninterrupted.
By contrast, remote working requires a different set of skills, abilities, and character traits.
It requires a degree of self-discipline, good time-management, and good communication skills.
Instead of escaping a traditional work environment by working from home, remote workers create their own work environment in any way or location they see fit.
Advantages of remote working
Remote workers enjoy the flexibility of working in a location or setting of their choosing.
For employees considering maternity leave or having a partner working in another city, remote working allows them to respond to life changes without sacrificing their careers.
Multiple studies have shown that distraction costs employees in a centralized workforce up to 6 hours per day.
Remote workers can design environments where they can work uninterrupted in a flow state.
This results in deep, focused, and productive work.
A flexible workplace without a morning and evening commute has also been shown to reduce stress and burnout.
Remote workers are also less likely to catch seasonal illnesses such as a cold or flu.
Disadvantages of remote working
Extroverted individuals who need a high level of human interaction may find remote work isolating – even if they possess desirable traits such as self-discipline and autonomy.
Remote workers in different time zones who are part of the same team may have difficulty in communicating effectively.
To some extent, proper planning can help overcome issues associated with location.
Some remote workers have trouble “switching off” at the end of a workday.
Constant access to the internet and work communications is one reason for poor work/life balance.
An improperly defined work area is another.
Wherever possible, remote work employees should avoid working in areas traditionally reserved for leisure, such as the bed or kitchen table.
Working from home can offer a lot of benefits over a crowded office, but it’s not for everyone. Sadly, many people are now forced to work online, even though they are used to working at the office.
Remote Working Tools
Remote work isn’t that difficult, but you need to have an organized process with proper action steps in place. This is where Trello comes into play. Trello is a project management platform that makes it easy to set up, organize, and manage projects.
It offers a wide range of features and tools to ensure everyone is updated on the latest events. It’s very versatile, and this is why so many people use it.
Trello is famous for its “Boards” that you can organize according to your needs.
A single board can represent a whole project, and users can add members to a board and set up list cards for each separate task. Every board has checklists, a comment section, due dates, labels, and attachments.
Communication is probably the biggest downside when it comes to remote work. When people start working remotely, they suddenly realize how important it is to have the ability to instantly ask questions, get feedback, and update each other.
Slack lets users organize chat channels for different teams or individuals. After a channel is created, you can add people who should be in the same team.
Members can also share files by simply dragging them on the channel. They will automatically be uploaded so that everyone can get access.
Slack also includes audio calls, video conferencing, and other standard communication options.
ProProfs Virtual Classroom Software
In the past, teaching was strictly limited to physical classrooms, but this is no longer the case. Many online platforms have slowly taken over. ProProfs Virtual Classroom is one such platform.
It is one of the best online training platforms. This is a comprehensive learning management system that has a virtual classroom extension. It can be used for employee training or typical learning sessions.
If you need to organize a group of instructors while giving them control over learners, this is the tool you need. You can add admins easily, while allowing learners to self-enroll.
You can also track the progress of each learner. This virtual classroom comes with many features and functionalities. Here are some of the top ones:
- Easy-to-use course builder: Users get the option of importing and reusing existing content for training. ProProfs also offers an extensive library of customizable courses.
- Easy user management: You can add learners from anywhere, create groups, virtual classrooms, and assign courses.
- Reporting & analytics feature: In addition to managing employee training and organizing virtual classrooms, you can assess learning data. View reports and improve the overall learning experience.
This is an automatic time tracking tool that can help you track the productivity of your employees. It can help you see how your team members are spending their time while working.
You don’t have to use it for your team alone; you can also track your own activities. This is a useful yet straightforward software that can help you boost productivity very quickly.
People are often unaware of how much they waste time while working. Well, DeskTime will tell you exactly that. It can also be used for tracking project time and calculating costs on an hourly basis.
It supports useful features for planning shifts, time off, calculating pay, and generating custom reports.
If you need a simple, functional video conferencing tool, Zoom might be an obvious choice for you. It supports both video and simple call conferencing. It’s specialized for this kind of use in corporate eLearning and does it perfectly.
When using Zoom for a conferencing call with a group of people, you don’t have to worry about any noise and overlapping sounds that make it difficult to communicate.
This tool has a brilliant call management system with a lot of different options. You can mediate calls easily, chat at the same time while video conferencing is ongoing, and leverage the scheduling option to keep track of every important meeting.
Emails are still an essential part of businesses. But when communicating with emails daily with several people, things can get hectic. Typical email services don’t have simple interfaces with a clear overview.
Mailbird is an email app that can be integrated with many other online collaboration tools. It supports multiple email accounts and allows you to manage them efficiently.
All of the primary email operations are fast, and you can always stay on top with the latest messages. It also has an option for postponing emails to help you organize your time in a better way.
Zapier is an automation and integration platform. It allows you to automate tasks that involve multiple applications. When you chain tasks with two applications, you can add a “Zap,” which consists of an action that has to be executed after certain conditions are met.
For example, you can add a trigger to receive a notification on some app whenever you receive an email. Zapier can connect over 300 different applications and supports many tools.
It has an intuitive dashboard that makes it easy to manage multiple accounts and create connections with ease.
It provides Google Docs, which is an online word processor. Users can share files and work together on them in real-time. Furthermore, they can also add comments, tag people, and see the history of changes.
The combination of these two capabilities allows you to share documents and files with ease while boosting accountability.
There is also a mobile app that can be used for scanning paper documents and instantly storing them as PDF files in Drive.
- Remote working is means of working beyond the confines of a traditional, centralized workplace.
- Remote working is commonly associated with the digital age, but it has existed since the 1970s. It is prevalent in the health, education, and freelance writing industry.
- Remote working provides individuals with the right set of traits a flexible, healthy, and focused way to work. However, it can be isolating for some individuals. Inefficiencies can also impact global companies with remote employees working in different time zones.
Key Highlights of Remote Working and Remote Working Tools:
- Definition of Remote Working: Remote working involves working outside of a traditional centralized workplace using digital technology. It allows individuals to work from different locations, enabled by the internet and technology.
- Historical Context: Remote working is not a new concept and dates back to the 1970s. It has evolved significantly due to technological advancements.
- Diverse Forms of Remote Work: Remote working encompasses various fields and industries, including education, writing, healthcare, and more. It allows teachers to engage in digital learning platforms, writers to capitalize on internet accessibility, and healthcare professionals to provide online services.
- Distinction from Working from Home: Remote working should be distinguished from occasional working from home. Remote work requires distinct skills like self-discipline, time management, and effective communication, enabling individuals to create a work environment outside of traditional offices.
- Advantages of Remote Working:
- Flexibility: Remote work offers the flexibility to choose work locations, accommodating life changes such as maternity leave or partners working in different cities.
- Reduced Distractions: Remote workers can design distraction-free environments, leading to focused and productive work.
- Improved Health: Lack of commuting reduces stress and burnout, contributing to better overall well-being.
- Disadvantages of Remote Working:
- Isolation: Extroverted individuals may find remote work isolating due to reduced human interaction.
- Communication Challenges: Remote workers in different time zones can face difficulties in effective communication and collaboration.
- Work-Life Balance: Poor work-life balance can result from constant connectivity and undefined workspaces.
- Remote Working Tools:
- Trello: Trello is a project management platform that helps organize and manage projects. It features boards, lists, checklists, and due dates to streamline project management.
- Slack: Slack is a communication tool that facilitates instant communication, file sharing, and collaboration among team members.
- ProProfs Virtual Classroom Software: ProProfs Virtual Classroom offers an online training platform with features for user management, reporting, and assessment of learning data.
- DeskTime: DeskTime is an automatic time tracking tool that aids productivity by monitoring employee activities.
- Zoom: Zoom is a video conferencing tool for efficient remote communication and video calls.
- Mailbird: Mailbird is an email app that organizes and integrates multiple email accounts for efficient communication.
- Zapier: Zapier is an automation platform that connects and automates tasks between various applications.
- Google Drive: Google Drive provides cloud storage, file sharing, and collaboration tools like Google Docs for real-time document editing.
- Key Takeaways:
- Remote working is enabled by digital technology and offers flexibility and focused work.
- It has historical roots and is prevalent in various industries.
- Remote work offers benefits like flexibility and reduced distractions but can also lead to isolation and communication challenges.
- Various remote working tools, from project management to communication platforms, enhance productivity and collaboration.
Connected Business Concepts And Frameworks
Main Free Guides: