On the other side of the pond the average working day has changed, according to new polling information from London. Working smarter means maximizing your time and productivity, and for most people this means eliminating commute, waiting times and avoiding the requirement of going into the office every day of the work week. In a new report generated by Regus, the world’s leader in workspace properties, 42% of the 2013 workforce now spend at least half of their week working remotely. This is an increase from last year, up from 39% of the same workforce group of 4,000 strong businesses polled.
Not only has working remotely become more widely accepted, with the exception of the Yahoo crackdown, it is more expected to be available from wherever you are whenever needed, technology has made this option inescapable for most. Time management is something we all strive to get better at and know all too well where our time is wasted, which does not include necessities like eating lunch and taking bathroom breaks, which if you’re “running late” usually get dropped on your priority list. The real time wasters are not eating and even socializing, both are very productive and fruitful pleasantries and necessities of daily life, the real culprits are traveling to and from work, technological issues, and being unorganized.
The biggest obstacle for working remotely or in flexible working environments lies in trust, not just customer or client trust, but the employer trusting employees to manage their own time and focus on their jobs. Regus noted in its most recent poll a sharp rising trend in inquiries for co-working, collaborative and virtual office space, citing a rise in international teams, remote and off-site locations or hubs, and incorporating a wider talent pool based on geography, or also known as “distributing” the workforce.
Also noted by Regus, a third of employers noticed that junior level employees took greater effort and pride in their responsibilities when assigned to work remotely. Clear expectations, assignments and expectations along with constant communication can ease any concerns about managing employees remotely, which is really no different that managing employees in person.
This report is encouraging for most multi-taskers who are continuously striving for better efficiency and determined to find more hours in the day, but is not necessarily a complete shift in the way we will work in the future. Balance includes a little of both and it’s also important to consider, also noted in the Regus poll, that not all people work best remotely and would still choose to “go to work” on a daily basis, citing that they feel more productive and efficient working that way.
Regardless if your offices are in London, China, Australia or California, we all face productivity and motivational issues with where and how we work. Being open to change and flexible with the way your team works bests is a global trend, one that is likely to continue to change, grow and evolve. The one constant in technology is change, it’s best to embrace and adapt what works best not only for each employee, but each company as global commerce continues to grow.