Over the years, there has been a massive change in the kind of work that we do. With the way the world has changed in the past few decades, it has become a thing of past to sit from 9 to 5 in a cramped office room with dusty files piled up on your table. For starters, it isn’t 9 to 5 anymore!
Human beings are the only species that pay for living on this earth. Since we need some form of income to sustain our life here, we need a job. A job was something that was always a part of social life. Unless you were rich enough to live without a source of income, everyone had a job.
We had a social circle even at our workplace. In fact, society revolved around work as well. Mums and dads away on weekdays for work, only time kids got to spend a good amount of time with parents was on weekends. But, in past few years, there has been a drastic change to this.
The change, however, has been at the two ends of the spectrum.
- Work has invaded the personal life.
- Flexibility has empowered a meaningful personal life.
Now, these are two completely contradictory statements. With the advancements in technology, the boundary of working hours has become less and less prominent. If you have work email configured on your mobile phone, you are in a way always “at work”. It is just not a case of leaving the office and coming back tomorrow to continue working.
The expectation is that since you always have access to work using devices which are always online, you would respond to work related requests any point of time. This is not a good thing. Expectations have to be set right so that our colleagues respect our personal time and are well aware of the time that actually set apart for work.
Now, the same technology that let’s work intrude into our life like an uninvited guest, helps us to be more flexible. There is almost never a predefined time for anything personal. Emergencies can come in anytime. So at times, you need to take time off from your work to take care of things. Working from home gives us a good balance between flexibility and productivity.
If you live and work from a city like I do, the traffic problems are something you would be well aware of. The time and energy it takes for you to commute to and from office are immense.
So in future, companies are going to realise (some of them already have) that there is absolutely no need for a physical office when we can all stay connected through technology. In fact, this is going to save big on infrastructure, commuting and other expenses. All you need is a good active internet connection.
Companies like Basecamp have been actively promoting remote work and for a good reason. Watch the video and you’ll know why:
Imagine this - your colleagues are mostly from different countries and your commute to work is just walking up to your desk in your home office and turning your machine on. How awesome! No traffic, no parking problems nothing. At the comfort of your home, having a coffee anytime you want.
Yes, there are some issues with remote work too.
- Time Zone: Difference in time zones can be a problem since the resources might not get enough face time with their colleagues. This can be resolved to an extent by having overlapping work hours. If resources can find a couple of hours where they can work in tandem with the rest of the team they can be in sync.
- Feeling Disconnected: It easy to feel lonely or disconnected working from a home office. Since you lack the watercooler time, you might feel disconnected from human beings. There needs to be a clear boundary to your working hours so that you can socialise with your friends and relatives during the rest of the time to avoid solitude.
As you can see, the pros mostly overpower the cons in the case of remote work. So, that I think is the future of work and where we go from here. Work need not be an additional burden on your time and energy. It should seamlessly weave into the fabric of your life.
Future of the work will be more oriented towards having a better life than spending endless late nights at work with your family back home waiting for that long planned dinner. Future of work will be good!