Employees in all industries love the opportunity to be flexible in terms of their working conditions, whether it’s booking an impromptu ‘duvet day’ or being able to spend time working from home because of other commitments without being penalised by their employer. The good news is that more and more companies are coming around to the idea of flexible working conditions which means that the stereotypical 9-to-5 office job may be a thing of the past.
Remote working or telecommuting, whatever you choose to refer to it as, is becoming one of the most popular methods of working right now with employees able to contact the office informing them of their intentions to do their daily tasks from their own home rather than coming into the office because of anything from a lack of childcare to an illness which isn’t bad enough to restrict them to their beds, but might be the kind of thing that could spread around the office.
On some days you just get the feeling that you can’t be bothered going in to the office, knowing that you could easily do your work from home rather than having to deal with the morning commute, and thanks to the Internet and developments in technologies like the smartphone and tablet computers – that’s exactly what people are doing. Instead of rushing around in the morning trying to get to the office for 9am, people are taking their laptops with them into town and sitting down in a coffee shop (utilising the free Wi-Fi of course), and staying on top of their workloads with a nice coffee and slice of cake rather than the horrible stuff in the staff kitchen and the cereal bar that tastes more like the wrapper it came in than food.
While remote working isn’t exactly a new concept, it’s something that is becoming a trend and thanks to various cloud hosting services and the increased availability of Wi-Fi, people are starting to utilise the various advantages and their employers are reaping the rewards too. It’s easy to understand why you would want to work remotely from an employee’s perspective – no rushing around to get to work on time, no sitting in traffic and the ability to get things done at home to name just a few; but why would an employer – who is paying for this person to do a job – want their staff working from home?
Well, one very good reason is because the cloud and faster Internet services have enabled them to work from anywhere, anytime. Saving work in the cloud has meant that people can access files from any machine in any location rather than the ‘old school’ method of saving to a My Documents folder on the desktop of their office computer. Now they can work on a file at work, access it in the evening from their laptop and continue to make amendments if necessary and also to carry on from their tablet while sat in a coffee shop for example. There are no strict working hours or conditions with the cloud, and with the Internet everywhere and only getting quicker, working from home is simpler than ever before meaning that the work can still be done even if you’re not in the office.
It also means that employers can save money on full-time employees and paying them their salaries. Instead of paying somebody, for example, £20,000 per annum on a full-time contract, they can utilise the services of ‘experts’ in the field who might be willing to work on a freelance basis from anywhere in the country, or even anywhere in the world. While this could make it difficult to get a real feel for the company, if somebody is good enough to make a difference to the company but they’re not able to relocate or come in to the office five days per week, it could be an avenue for employers to go down on a short or part-time contract.