Remote working – Is it right for your business?

Do you work from home? A cafe? A coworking space? Maybe you should – remote working is on trend. I mean, just look:

See? It’s never been more popular.

More and more businesses are offering the option to work from home, or work wherever you have a computer and internet access. It makes sense: if your job basically just requires a computer and an internet connection, what’s stopping you from taking that work wherever you feel like?

There’s obviously a minefield of potential issues with working from home. If you have kids or pets you might find them tugging at your heels for attention or barking through a conference call (note: if your child barks a lot maybe it’s time to sit them down for a chat). There are also various other temptations to distract you: radio, television, a lack of authoritative presence pressing you to get the hell on with it and stop reading Facebook.

But then is working in an office really going to be better? Many places opt for something open plan, which is a superb way to be constantly distracted by chatter and those quick informal questions people might fire at you. Oh, and meetings.

Evidence suggests that remote workers put in more hours and achieve higher levels of productivity. However, this increase in productivity is probably in line with those extra hours rather than because remote workers are inherently more prolific.

Mostly I think it’s down to how you want your people to work, and the kind of expertise you can find nearby. If you need to hire someone on a different landmass to get the job done, then you’re probably going to end up with remote workers generally. There are plenty of tips out there for those thinking about the logistics of such a decision.

Personally, I do think remote working is the future of any industry where you primarily only need a computer and an internet connection. Who doesn’t want to be able to solve problems for a client in Manchester while drinking a latte in San Francisco when working as a contractor for a company based in Copenhagen? Go mobile!

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