Now is the time for remote work, so seize the benefits!
Is it time to think about a permanent remote work situation?
Corona virus has pushed the world into a new way of working. It was a shock to the system with many of us having to learn an entirely different way of managing our workloads from home, amid other family members doing the same, children home from school, and the general anxiety and uncertainty the virus brought with it. While we are still not to the other side, with the dust settling, we have started to get used to remote work and the benefits are showing.
For a long time, remote work has been a buzz phrase, saved mostly for creative freelancers, influencers, and people who work for forward thinking tech companies who are ahead of the times when it comes to working conditions. Employees granted home working as part of a contract in most organizations prior to Corona virus were certainly in the minority. However, a silver lining in the devastation that Corona virus has caused is that remote work opportunities are on the up, now that businesses and organizations have been able to see some of the positives it offers.
Benefits of remote work
It was widely thought that most jobs could not be done remotely but look how we have managed to adapt! From call centers, to schools and universities, to therapy, businesses have adapted and found new ways to continue outside of their usual environment. Many of these have been hugely successful and have benefited both employer and employee. Here are just a few examples:
Cost savings – Without the presence of an office space, businesses are starting to see the money they could save if they were to make use of remote workers instead of insisting everyone is on site. For employees, not having to go to a physical office means less time and cost commuting and saving on the extra costs of childcare for these commuting hours.
More choices – Rather than having staff concentrated in one area because they have to all be within a reasonable distance of their place of work, employees can be based anywhere in the country, even the world, meaning the pool of potential candidates is blown wide open. More choice means the potential to recruit the best talent. For employees, there are more jobs to apply for due to the same reason. No longer are they only able to work for companies who are local. This creates a massive amount of choice and opportunities.
Flexible working – Remote work brings about a certain amount of flexibility for many roles. It may be that time is still set for meetings, teaching, client appointments, etc. but with remote work, employees have more choices in how they structure their day. This is a bonus for the employee and also creates a higher level of autonomy, promoting trust and a happy working environment which can only be good for business.
The time is now
If you are considering remote work, now is a great time. If you have a job that you are currently doing remotely and would prefer to keep it that way, now is the time to approach your employer and state your case about how well it is working before plans are made to revert back to the old way of working. Put your case together stating all the benefits to both you and your employer.
If you are looking for a new remote position, expect to see a lot more in the future. HERC are seeing a variety of remote opportunities so please take a look at the job board as a starting point.
Types of remote work
The type of remote work available now is wide, with many organizations still in work from home mode. Any positions that have been advertised recently are likely to follow the same pattern for the time being, even if it is temporary. Those that are planning on in-person work will have contingency plans for a second wave of Corona virus, so remote work may still be a possibility or at least worthy of a discussion. While traditionally, remote roles were things like tech roles, copy writing and short-term freelance positions, now we are really seeing a large variety including academic roles, teaching roles, research positions and HR jobs. The trend seems to be that the higher the level of a position, the more opportunity for remote work. For example, many manual jobs are just not possible remotely but working in a managerial position that is largely office based lends itself more to working outside of the office environment.
If you have benefited from the current remote work conditions, the good news is that remote work opportunities are increasing. The positive effects of working remotely for many businesses will only serve to see this trend continue. Similarly, if your position has been working well remotely, you have a good case for requesting it continue.
About the author: Nikki Vivian is a Career Coach and owner of From Kids to Career, which was set up to support women who are returning to a career, or looking to move in a new direction after taking time out to raise a family. Nikki works with Mums to find their true passions and to re-build confidence that can be lost after a break from the workplace. She believes passionately that being a parent does not put you at the bottom of the pile when it comes to your career. Nikki owns CV writing company Confident CV and has 8 years’ experience working in Careers for Cardiff University and works as a writer. Most recently, Nikki is writing content for businesses, organizations, and individuals on how to transition to remote working. She also coaches and delivers online training on this subject.