For a growing number of people, the ability to work from home is “living the dream.” I know this, because I can’t even recall the number of people who have told me this, without ever knowing what it is I actually do. At Polycom, many of the employees, including myself, are fortunate to have the ability to work remotely and flexibly. Unsurprisingly, it appears flexi-work benefits are becoming increasingly common as more employees demand it.
A recent report from PwC in the UK found that just 14 percent of workers want to work in a traditional office environment and one in five workers prefer to work in a “virtual” work space. What does this mean? Employees want the ability to work from wherever, whenever. Of course, this doesn’t work for every type of job function, but for many this is achievable as long as employers are providing the proper framework and tools to do so.
What if work is no longer somewhere you go, but something you do? I myself can speak to this proposition as I am enabled to work in multiple environments. Recently, I met with the CEO of coWorkr, a company that develops technologies for companies to track and asses how employees work in their office environment and how they utilize the physical space. This poses some important questions to ask:
How often do employees actually spend time at their desks? If they’re spending more time collaborating with one another in communal spaces, how will this change the physical office space? And what does this mean for the “virtual” space?
The PwC report also found that in the future, “Workers will be more likely to see themselves as a member of a particular skill or professional network, rather than as an employee of a particular company. People will be categorized and rewarded for having specialist expertise.”
This professional network can be grown outside the office, as I have experienced by working in coworking environments. Having the opportunity to collaborate and network with other like-minded individuals who enjoy working in a shared space is one of the biggest benefits I’ve experienced from working outside of the office. I find that I can be more creative and productive when I have the freedom to work in a location that suits me, and obtaining input for my ideas from people outside my normal work team leads me to more overall creative ideas. Not to mention the ovcious benefits of a better work-life balance by cutting down the time and stress of a daily commute. If the traditional office is going to be a thing of the past, then we better start preparing for it now!
The best part is that working outside the office does not mean I have to give up any of my technology or miss out on any meetings with my colleagues. Between Polycom RealPresence and CloudAxis and a good pair of headphones, I stay in touch with my team all day and don’t miss a beat.
What are your thoughts on the idea of working remotely? How often do you work from outside the office? Do you think there are added benefits to coworking? Comment and share your thoughts below!