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Work From Home Jobs

September 29, 2023 No Comments

Work from home jobs have traditionally had a bad reputation. Many employees believed that their employees would be easily distracted working at home and could not be monitored effectively. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have been forced into having their employees work remotely to prevent the spread of the virus and due to lockdowns in their area preventing employees from coming into the physical office.

The main concern for employers was employee productivity. In recent studies, it has shown that employees who work remotely are 55% more productive than their in-office counterparts. They do not have the in-office distractions and seem to enjoy working individually in their own homes. It should be noted that teleconferencing and advanced technology have enhanced the remote work environment enabling employees to do almost anything they did before in the company office in their own home offices. This has made it possible for many businesses to thrive remotely.

Having seen that productivity has increased, many businesses question whether it is cost effective to switch their businesses over to remote employees. Depending on the industry, many businesses provide their employees laptops, monitors, encryption boxes, etc which is an enormous initial expense, but does it offset the cost of rent and staffing of physical locations long term?

There was a time when remote work as we know it wasn’t even a possibility, because the technology didn’t exist. If your colleagues and business partners wanted to get in touch with you when you were out of the office, they couldn’t email, text or direct-message you. You would’ve needed to provide an alternative phone number, a pager or even a fax number to have a work-related conversation. Even full-time “remote” positions were different from what they are today.

“Ten years ago, remote employment basically meant a telemarketing or customer service position at below minimum wage,” said Samantha Lambert, director of human resources at website design company Blue Fountain Media. “It rarely was connected with a full-time career. Now, technology affords us the ability to get the same job done, no matter where in the world we are. [It has] enabled us to be in contact with co-workers or clients at any time.”

One of the most helpful technologies for seamless remote work is video conferencing.

Live video feeds help out-of-office workers see and speak to one another in real time, anywhere with an internet connection, which is the next best thing to a face-to-face meeting. But this capability wouldn’t be possible without the widespread broadband internet adoption of the past 10 to 15 years.

This technology has advanced so quickly that many companies have even done away with traditional offices and instead run their businesses out of co-working spaces to accommodate their largely remote workforce.

“Shared office spaces, where remote employees can gather to work, have been created and are more widely available in different cities,” Lambert said. “This in itself represents the growing amount of remote workers in recent years.”

Remote work also presents unique opportunities in the face of crisis, such as a natural disaster or an epidemic. For instance, as COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, rapidly spreads worldwide, the ability for many workers to perform their job duties entirely from home can help protect both the public health and the continued success of the business.

Many companies predict that remote work software, like mobile work tools and virtual reality conferencing, will become the preferred form of communication – even over face-to-face meetings. AI will also likely play a major role in managing remote staff.

These advancements might put companies more at ease. The transition to managing a remote workforce might be daunting, but with the right tech and hardworking employees, it can be a seamless process.

In the long run, fighting the change may do more harm than good. Many employees now expect remote work opportunities. According to Buffer, 99% of current remote workers would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers. That’s nine points higher than the figure from the same survey in the previous year.

Furthermore, according to Global Workplace Analytics, 37% of remote employees would take a 10% pay cut to continue working from home. Because of this increasingly popular trend, some refuse to accept an onsite position, knowing they can find a more convenient and flexible gig elsewhere.

Instead of resisting the change, organizations should improve their remote work policies and capabilities. If your company is concerned about productivity and performance issues due to a companywide ability to work from home, Lambert recommends creating standard key performance indicators (KPIs) for both management and employees.

This way, she said, remote team members are aware of expectations, and their performance can be monitored.

Many organizations, including the Harvard Business Review, have stated that work from home jobs for employees in all industries is “here to stay”. According to Forbes, “The world witnessed a historic shift in the 2020 job market due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While some companies used to offer the ability to work from home as a perk, it has now become the norm for most businesses. By 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month. While 2020 may be considered the year of remote work, it is just the beginning as we see the trend continuing in 2021.”

The question is, as job-seekers, how do we compete in the virtual environment? We need to ask the right questions, such as:

❏ What benefits does my prospective company offer?

❏ If I accept a remote position, does that limit my advancement opportunities?

❏ How long does the company intend for this position to be remote?

❏ Does it offer the necessary equipment (laptop, monitor, internet service, etc) to fulfill this role?

Although these look like very obvious questions, many employers vary in what they offer

to their remote employees and you should be prepared before you accept any position.

One of the disadvantages of working remotely is that it’s more difficult to

highlight professional achievements. In 2021 employees will need to put extra

effort into amplifying their engagement virtually to ensure they have access to

new opportunities. In a remote setting where employees collaborate mostly via

email, engagement is much harder for workers to convey and for employers to

identify. By participating in virtual events, being active in online meetings,

and keeping enthusiasm high, employees will be able to stand out as leaders

while working from home.

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