The Remote Working Movement Will Never Die

IBM’s decision to call its remote workers back to the office has left us feeling restless. Not just because our digital marketers are location independent and can work from anywhere of our choosing, but we feel a statement such as ‘Why Remote Working Will Die’ actually sends the wrong message about the remote movement as a whole. In short, remote working works and has opened up a way for our business to grow in leaps and bounds all over the world.

I, however, want to take a hot second to respond to IBM’s claim that productivity and innovation are weaker off-site than in the office, through the argument that remote working is still misconstrued concept.

To do this, let’s iron out some ‘remote working’ misconceptions:

Remote working is not an ‘all or nothing’ position.  

Think of remote working as a means to create the perfect equilibrium (or the ‘sweet spot’) between working onsite and totally remote. We understand the importance of contact time and aim to have at least 3 Skype calls and 1 face-to-face meet up every week. This timetable offers the best of both worlds but still keeps employees motivated for deliverables and engaged within the agency. Multiple studies have shown that this may be the ‘Goldilocks zone of remote working’ and have great productivity results!

The lost in-person collaboration is arguably not relevant.

Have you heard about this? One of the arguments against remote working is that employees don’t get that ‘spark’ of productivity and creativity, only obtained from working onsite. This argument is weak, as inspirational content creation and sensational inbound marketing ideas aren’t all conceived at your company’s desk (we’ve all had those great inspiration hits in the shower!) As an example, many remote workers decide to travel the world as through a combination of traveling and remote working, you can be sure your interests and engagement will increase.

People are more productive when they are happy!

Remote workers don’t work as hard as they do in the office.

This is simply untrue. There is a misconstrued image of a remote worker as a soul-seeking millennial, lusting after a light job that fulfills their holistic satisfaction and who don’t care to work too much. However, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, 43 percent of Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely last year, up from 39 percent in 2012. With regards to workloads, in actuality, the opposite can happen, with people often finding themselves stretching their work out for hours, because getting to work is so convenient.

Remote working means that your business’ general communication will suffer.

When a team makes the transition to working remotely, this does not necessarily mean that the quality of communication suffers. Actually far from it. On the contrary, workers are choosing to engage in impactful co-worker collaboration, over water cooler gossip. Additionally, there are countless virtual workspace programs available for teams to work with and improve productivity. These allow remote workers to feel that they are never alone and can always reach out for advice when needed.

So, what’s next? Remote workers, don’t panic. Many are drawing from experience and cases to show how telecommuting can be as productive as being at one’s on-site desk. The articles and posts on LinkedIn that are so morbidly titled ‘The Troubled Future of Remote Working’ and ‘Why Remote Working Will Die’ have actually prompted many to share their awesome remote working stories to the masses! We love it when a clan comes together!

Are you a remote worker and want to have your say? Comment below!