Remote work - a benefit or just a standard on modern markets?
It's 7 o'clock in the morning, the main street of an average big city. In buses, at subway stations, in an endless traffic jam… you can observe thousands of people in a constant hurry to work. But as you look to the side, in a lonely Starbucks Cafe that's seated between a travel agency and a small grocery store, you can see a handful of ladies and gents with their laptops, drinking coffee and reading something on the screen, writing something every once in a while. Just a few floors above in the very same building, in an elegant apartment, someone is sitting in their pyjamas and eating oatmeal while writing something on their laptop.
Unemployed misfits and lazy daydreamers, one could say!!! Except, you know, those guys at Starbucks are actually at their full-time jobs making 3 times more than most of the people squeezed in the traffic behind the window and our pyjama-party buddy upstairs is actually the owner of a very successful company… and he is finalising a very profitable deal right now. It is a dream come true? No - simply remote work!
Of course, in the past, it would be unthinkable to make a living without even setting a foot in the office - remote work was reserved for terribly paid call centre jobs for students. It had a lot to do with technology - when the only way of communicating with your employee who stayed at home was via phone or fax, it is clear why most companies didn't allow that. But everything has changed thanks to the global internet connection and all wonderful means of communication that came with it.
Now, it is absolutely possible to stay at home and fulfill your work duties at the same time. In some cases, companies completely resign from purchasing or renting an office space and instead they create much smaller and cheaper remote work spaces or rent coworking spaces where employees may come and do their work remotely, and in a much more productive atmosphere. So, it would be rather logical that most companies should allow remote working as a standard, right?
Resisting the change
Most companies still don't allow their employees to work fully remotely. Sometimes they agree to one or two days a week of such work... and that is of course better than nothing. But when you look at figures provided by Buffer, you can clearly see that this is not what employees expect:
An astounding 99% of questioned employees said that they would like to work remotely at some point in their career;95% of the questioned people tend to encourage others to work remotely;40% of the questions named a flexible schedule the most important benefit of working remotely.
So, when you take a look at those figures and a company's attitude, the answer to the question in the title is simple - companies still tend to see remote work as an optional benefit, while employees would prefer for it to become a standard.
Quo vadis, job market?
Now the wind of change is strong and it blows in favour of employees - new generations are much more skilled in using electronic devices and surfing the web, which makes working remotely significantly easier for them. Moreover, taking into account the rapidly changing workforce situation on local markets, more remote-friendly positions are on the rise especially due to numerous technologies which keep making the entire concept more and more effective.
So, do not despair, you can still work from your couch and eat your homemade breakfast without your CEO breathing down your neck - the change is coming and remote work is the name of the game!