Remote work is not so different after all

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By Natalie Golffed

August 23, 2021

The world of work, our attitudes towards it, its practices, and experiences have evolved over the years. It’s interesting to look back and see that older work models might help us make sense of the trend that came to stay: remote work

It’s safe to say that if this pandemic we’re living through had taken place last century, the actions that we as humanity would have been able to take would have been entirely different. Just imagine people at the turn of the 20th century trying to work remotely, with very limited technology and interconnectedness. Quite a different panorama from our hyperconnected, tech-crazed current lives. However, this doesn’t mean that the only reason to work remotely (and geographically dispersed) is the pandemic: at least in arionkoder’s case, the reasons go way deeper. If you find this interesting, stay tuned: we’ll be exploring our reasons in further posts.

We are, then, presented with a unique opportunity that directly correlates with the constant evolution of society, from a feudal model to an industrial model, to the society of knowledge that we live in. Because the focus has shifted (which doesn’t mean that non-knowledge-related jobs have disappeared), our society is more suited to remote work than ever before.

Gartner forecasts 51% of global knowledge workers will be remote by the end of 2021. This is an impressive number, making remote work the most prevalent work situation in this field. Gartner also estimates that remote workers will represent 32% of all employees worldwide by the end of 2021.

From a talent perspective, what positive traits does this situation bring along? Here are some key aspects:

  • Remote work allows for a more significant and human-centered work-life balance. This in part is related to the elimination of commuting, and the current juncture which means families are usually at home together.
  • Autonomy is a key part of the equation since remote work demands high engagement from both talent and the company. Micromanagement is no longer viable, but results are attained just as well – and in some cases even better – than in an office setting. 

This point, in particular, brings up the question of the new and real role of management: we might be looking at motivators rather than authorities since remote work has proven that engagement is the crucial thing, rather than a manager breathing down our necks.

  • Some preliminary research points to remote work as a beneficial setting for the increase of diversity and inclusion. This means opportunities widen in spaces that might otherwise have been more inaccessible.

In a way, remote work has similarities with previous work scenarios, such as feudal-era work where most of it was home-based, allowing for interesting family dynamics. At work, trust and commitment are a major component of its success, now just as then. But technology is what makes it possible to be together while we’re alone: we can’t shake hands but we can text, we can’t hug but we can have a video chat. Now we can work on the same project at the same time and we can succeed together. This is unprecedented in human history and will lead the way for the modernization of work models.

An environment of trust and commitment is the experience we have – and build – every day at arionkoder

What is your company’s experience like?