More and more American workers are saying goodbye to traditional workplaces and going all-remote, all the time.
Reliable statistics are difficult to come by, but it’s safe to say that a significant minority of the white-collar workforce works on a “distributed” basis. That is, they don’t work in the same offices, or even the same cities, as their peers.
Thanks to advances in workplace collaboration technology and a growing recognition in the C-suite that productive employees thrive when they’re empowered to work when and as they’re able, remote work has never been more popular. If you’re considering shifting to a full-time remote position or moving a team you manage to an entirely remote posture, you stand to reap some potent benefits.
- Saying Goodbye to an Office Space That You Need to Keep Up
Maintaining an office space of your own takes work. This is true even if you don’t act as your own office manager: Simply minding your personal and professional possessions in a shared office space demands considerable mental and physical energy.
Working remotely, you do need to keep your desk or home office (if you have a truly separate space) tidy. But you don’t need to worry about what your cluttered or unkempt workspace says to your colleagues, nor what your colleagues’ own organizational shortcomings might do for your productivity.
- Eliminating Your Commute and All the Trouble It Brings
One of the clearest benefits of working remotely is the elimination of that twice-daily ordeal known as “commuting.” Whether you commute by car or public transit, the process is time-consuming, stressful, and potentially costly. It’s also a significant source of personal peril, with countless car accidents occurring in the course of daily commutes. Getting to work later while staying safe is a true win-win situation.
- Leaving Office Politics in the Rearview
Organizational dynamics can be messy, messy, messy. Working remotely won’t completely cut you off from the social aspects of operating within a multi-person company, but it will give you some greatly needed distance from the uncomfortable face-to-face aspect of it. It’s nice to be able to choose when and with whom you discuss matters not directly related to business.
- Being More Responsive to Your Loved Ones’ Needs
In a way, working at home means working closer to your loved ones. Sure, your kids might be at school or daycare during the workday and your spouse might still work in a traditional office setting. But you’ll be in a better position to respond to their needs when you’re at home, rather than far away at the office.
- Having the Run of Your Entire Workspace
Working at home means working in a space that’s entirely your own. Even the most collegial shared offices have common spaces and personal boundaries that need to be respected; not so in a home office (or your kitchen table, as the case may be). To call this “liberating” would be a gross understatement.
- Enjoying Greater Flexibility to Structure Your Workday
Remote workers, by definition, don’t have bosses looking over their shoulders every minute of the day. They can literally come and go as they please: arriving at the “office” after the official start time, taking longer lunches, and working later into the evening as their schedules demand. Sure, they might have standing meetings to make or scheduled calls that can’t be put off, but the arrangement is far more flexible on the whole.
According to Business Strategist Kellee Marlow in 2021 entrepreneurs need to be highly flexible or adaptable to the current challenges. The focus should be on tweaking their products and services to address the barriers that their customers are experiencing. Those who are able to quickly adapt their products and services as an experience that people can engage with online (since this is where most people are spending most of their time) are able to build a community of customers that they can continually engage with. You need to meet your customers where they are today. For example, with many women unable to go into salons currently, companies are creating the virtual experience of trying on hair color online before purchase. Another example is a non-profit organization creating an online auction, with people sitting at virtual cocktail tables together where they can meet and chat. It enabled the participants to engage with others in the bidding process and helped the organization raise over their fundraising goal. Kellee added as a last tip for navigating 2021 would be to keep connecting with others. It is more important than ever and there are many people offering to help during this time. Many people are posting on Linkedin to message them if you need an introduction. I would take them up on it even if you don't know them.
- Having the Freedom to Change the Scenery
Greater flexibility means more freedom to change scenery too. Remote workers tired of being cooped up at home can head to a coffee shop, coworking space, or park for a change of pace.
- Ditching the Dress Code
Remote workers don’t have to wear their professional best when they don’t anticipate meeting clients or colleagues remotely or face-to-face. Even with video conference calls, appropriate topwear is all that’s needed; what covers you below the waist is your business. If nothing else, the budget benefits of cycling through less business dress are clear.
- Trimming Your Overhead (If Your Employer Doesn’t Pick Up the Tab)
On the subject of budgeting, remote work is a cost-saver for entrepreneurs and professionals whose employers don’t pick up the tab for their office space. (Such as commissioned salespeople expected to work full-time out of satellite offices or coworking spaces.) While we might not agree on the best way to get work done, we can all agree that saving money is a worthwhile goal.
Make 2021 the Year You Go Remote for Good
The benefits of going full-time remote are compelling, that’s for sure — compelling enough to make 2021 the year you go remote for good.
If you’re ready to make the switch, start putting the pieces in motion right now. This isn’t something you can do overnight, nor is it a decision to make lightly. It is, however, a decision you’re not likely to regret anytime soon.