Real Time Communications Featured Article

Connected Companies & the New Remote Workforce

July 29, 2015

I entered the workforce in 2005, fresh out of college, and ready for the world. Lucky for me, this was before the economy tanked and at a time when communications technology was really starting to transform the workplace.

As an additional benefit, I just so happened to work for a company that was fully focused on technological advancements like VoIP, video conferencing and more. At that time, working in an office environment meant being set up in a cubicle, pounding away at the keyboard and learning the ropes about when to get up and walk over to work through an issue, or just send an email to a coworker across the room as a means of better productivity.

The lines really started to blur when technology became the main way to communicate. A phone call, turned into an email, turned into being able to check and respond from a mobile device – and things continued to take off from there. Working from home instead of driving into the office soon made more sense than long commutes on crowded highways.

Today’s business setting is totally different than it was a decade ago because now you don’t even need the office or most of the traditional tools to be a worker at all.

A recent inforgraphic by Column Five profiles today’s remote worker and found that more and more companies are allowing jobs to be done from home. This not only makes for a more pleasing work experience and satisfied workforce, but it’s a striking change from the disgruntled and disengaged workers we’ve been hearing about for too long.

In fact, the infographic noted that approximately 3.3 million people in the U.S. work remotely at least half of the time and the percentage is growing for those who work remotely full time.

From 2005 to 2012, there was a 79.7 percent increase in remote workers in the U.S. Today’s average remote worker is described as being a college graduate, about 49 years old, and making $58k annually.

Image via Shutterstock

Being in the field and having connections with many, I’d have to argue that point. Much of the younger, tech savvy generation entering the workforce today  and even those with a decade or less under their belts such as myself, are finding it easy to adjust to work-from-home capabilities and I assume that the more remote work becomes the norm, we’ll see some of those averages change on what a remote worker looks like.

Benefits of a work-from-home set-up extend beyond cutting down on time spent traveling to and from work, to also include a chance for more sleep, exercise and better eating. Less stress also means a better attitude about the job, and a chance at have healthier relationships outside the work environment.

For employers, allowing workers to connect remotely also increases productivity and 52 percent of survey respondents said they were less likely to take time off from work if they were already working from home.  Another 24 percent even said they were willing to work longer hours and could get more done in less time if they were working remotely as opposed to side chatter and other office distractions.   

With technologies advancing at the blink of an eye – there is no telling where the next decade will lead to when it comes to workforce communications and collaboration capabilities, but if WebRTC and all the latest advancements in mobility continue, there may just be a whole new worker profile to examine then – and who knows, we may be calling remote collaboration a thing of the past. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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