The future of work is changing. Whether that future includes mainly remote, in-office, or flexible and hybrid work depends on individual companies’ decisions. However, the advantages of remote work might just be worth the effort.
Many top tech companies intend to pursue flexible working, so employees can do most of their work from home. An article by the BBC explains how they still need to come into the office a few times a week or live within a reasonable distance of work.
Compared to the traditional commuting lifestyle, it sounds more freeing. But is this the most anybody can expect from a remote position?
The past year saw a lot of praise heaped onto remote working from companies like Twitter and Spotify. But flexible working isn’t the same as remote working, and whether your job stays completely remote after the pandemic is over could be affected by whether your company was born remote or not.
A born remote company (also known as a remote-first company) starts operations with remote working as the primary working option for employees. This is very different from companies that have only become remote due to the global pandemic in the past year.
Remote employees don’t need to live in any specific location. As long as they have a stable internet connection, good communication, and the right skills for their job, they can thrive.
OnTheGoSystems (OTGS) is an entirely remote company that has been around for over a decade. For the last several years, the successful and continuous development of plugins such as Toolset and WPML stands as evidence that fully remote teams can collaborate and communicate effectively for projects.
So yes, it’s entirely possible to have a stable, secure, and fully online career.
Remote.co recently held an online Q&A where they asked, “What are the biggest benefits to working remotely?”. They found that people valued the usefulness of flexibility, saving time on commuting, and reducing distractions from being able to control their working environment. Supporting this, a survey by FlexJobs recently found 96% of respondents want to continue working remotely in some form after the global pandemic settles down.
Even Forbes, which is not a remote-first company, wrote a piece about what it takes to create a successful remote working environment. They encouraged managers to measure remote worker’s productivity by output, as well as by the quality of the work they produce. To make up for the lack of proximity or in-person connections, they encouraged remote team bonding activities and keeping open and accessible communication channels available.
A remote job offers more than just stability and security. It provides you with the means to pursue the interests that make you whole as a person.
Some of the main benefits include:
If you have children or family living with you, working from home means you can be with them every day. It’s also great for those with animals experiencing separation anxiety!
For those who love traveling, there’s no need to have to pick your job over your passion. You can travel and work without hassle as long as you have a stable internet connection, access to a desktop or laptop, and are communicative with your team.
An hour a day spent commuting adds up to seven hours after just a week. Instead of commuting, you can invest that time into meaningful and valuable things like lessons, hobbies, family time, or anything you want. It’s your time.
Working at home means you have your whole house or apartment at your disposal. Not only that, but you can completely design your working setup to what makes you the most comfortable and happy.
With an international environment, the chances of working in an entirely multicultural team are much higher than at physical offices. You can learn more about the rest of the world and what other cultures are like during breaks or coffee meetups!
Since everything is online, people need to make an effort to stay connect and communicate with one another. This makes it more likely that individuals will share their experiences and skills. It’s very easy to schedule video calls and screen sharing to explain processes, new updates, or other news.
As a final note, it can be easier for people to understand and work with one another when communication happens through chat rooms. You can always check the chat log to jog your memory or double-check what someone said.
In this short video, hear from OTGS members what their thoughts are on remote working:
Just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean you need to give up the enjoyable daily office chatter or passing conversations with colleagues. At OTGS, we make an effort and have processes in place to facilitate communication and connections between all of our teams.
Here are some of the activities we do to get to know each other better and have more fun together.
Everybody gets an invite (expenses paid!) to a 5-days, annual company event. It’s been a while since our last company event, but after the pandemic improves everybody can meet in person again!
We also celebrate birthdays with group meetings to foster friendships and make sure everybody feels happy!
There’s never a week that goes by without a live group exercise session or coffee break during work hours for people to retreat to!
Group exercise sessions on Zoom
Irina leading the regular warmups
Just because a company is online doesn’t mean it cannot create a cooperative and lively environment that also works well. Overall, remote working has many benefits for individuals that allow them to grow and focus better, creating a more productive and happier workforce.
Check out our blog post which covers whether remote work is for you. If you’d like to learn more about our people and culture, we have a news page dedicated to sharing stories and achievements by the people in our team.
If you’re interested in working with OTGS, feel free to contact us to learn more.