What is remote working?
The remote working is a kind of contract between employers and employees that consists in letting the latter accomplish their jobs without needing to be physically present. This arrangement has been possible thanks to the considerable advances in communication technology.
History of remote working
Historically, one could say that remote working exist since the invention of the phone which allowed to dialogue at a distance. It is then with the arrival of Internet and email that the telecommuting became more popular.
In the early 2000's, other more advanced software such as Skype really changed the game by allowing increased remote collaboration.
Covid's global pandemic in 2019 has been the latest propellant for telecommuting, this time forcing companies to find new solutions to allow their employees to continue working remotely.
In short, the history of telecommuting can be said to span decades of iterations very closely tied to technology!
Benefits of remote working for the employee
A better balance between the personal and professional lives of workers
The advantages and benefits of telecommuting are numerous. Among them, there is an increased flexibility for employees who are able to better balance between personal and professional life.All of this leads to increased productivity. For example, parents can better manage childcare and organize school outings.
Better productivity through remote working
According to several recent studies, remote work would increase productivity. Working from home would thus reduce distractions while allowing for better concentration.
Some people, however, have difficulty concentrating in their personal environment. We suggest you read our Remote Guide to learn more about the best practices to adopt when working from home.
Benefits of remote working for the employer
Economies of scale through remote working
Remote working allows companies to save massively on the costs associated with renting physical offices. This benefit is ideal for small businesses and startups who can reinvest these funds into other activities to better grow.
Exp France is a successful example of telecommuting as it has recruited hundreds of remote real estate agents in their virtual offices without having to pay rent for physical offices.
Recruiting all over the world
In particular, it broadens the available talent pool. This makes it easier for a company to find a person who is better suited to its needs.
Ecological benefits on an unprecedented scale
Working remotely also has ecological benefits. By reducing the number of our daily trips, traffic flows more smoothly and CO2 emissions are reduced.
In addition to the transport dimension, we also note a global energy saving with lower consumption in vacant offices thanks to the deactivation of energy-consuming appliances such as air conditioners and heaters.
We also notice a waste and consumables thrown away in cafeterias reduction (cardboard cups, single-use objects, etc.)
What are the limits of remote working ?
Telecommuting, although positive in many aspects, also brings its share of problems.
Limited human interactions
The main obstacle to teleworking is that it goes against what humans are: social beings. By working remotely, communication with people is drastically reduced and we lose consistency in what we say when we want to dialogue.
We notice that a decrease of productivity in certain case or even a deterioration in human relations and in the cohesion of teams working remotely.
To solve this problem, technology is once again coming to our rescue by offering more and more tools to raise the level of human relations at a distance.
Among them, The virtual office seems to be establishing itself over the years as a functional solution. The principle is simple: remote workers are connected to a virtual space in 2D or 3D (Remoteless, Meta Horizon) and can interact while moving virtually. This removes many obstacles, improves the spontaneity of exchanges and unlocks informal conversations that are difficult to obtain from a distance.
Companies that are holding back remote working
Because of the fact that remote working can be an asset but also a hindrance, some companies, not being able to develop their remote communication, decide to go back to face-to-face work and thus abandon remote work.
One explanation for this return to basics could be a lack of tools and methods for companies to properly welcome their new employees and then maintain good communication, which is closely linked to overall productivity.
Remote working in the future
It is difficult to predict the future, but we can capitalize on the fact that remote working will continue to be a trend in the labor market.
Since the successive waves of covid, many companies are updating their policies about telecommuting, finding more and more interest over the years thanks to the development of new tools and platforms dedicated to remote teams.