Working from home or working remotely used to be a frightening thing to hear. One would imagine a skeezy old man hunched over an old desk, surrounded by piles of papers and towers of moving boxes – while smoking a cigar… However, times have changed. Last year, a report by U.S. market research firm Gallup found that the number of American employees working remotely rose to 43 percent in 2016 from 39 percent in 2012. Another study, by telecommuting research firm Global Workplace Analytics and recruitment firm FlexJobs, found that 3.9 million American workers said they telecommuted at least half of the time in 2015, representing an increase of 115 percent from the 1.8 million U.S. employees that said the same in 2005. So, now you could update that mental image to a young professional, focused on the screen of their sleek MacBook Pro and engaged in a conference call, while sitting at a cafe or in a modern home office.
In fact, many businesses are turning to freelancers to contract work or off-site employees rather than employ on-site staff to complete many projects. One fear among business management staff initially, was that there would be a lack of motivation, or that the time would be ill-spent by employees taking advantage of their work atmosphere. However, it was found that the majority of off-site employees were putting out higher quality work at a faster pace. All that could be concluded by the managers was that it didn’t matter how many hours they were spending, as long as the work was meeting expectations – and employees were exceeding them in most cases. For those who were not performing as well when given the option to work remotely, they were still held to the same standards of discipline and let go when under-performance became excessive.
The concept of how a work environment affects each individual professional has been highly scrutinized in recent years. The psychology behind mental driving factors is an important focus, as businesses are working to improve the quality of work environments and overall mental health of their employees. Having a certain amount of flexibility to customize a work environment and workflow has proved to be a fantastic way to decrease the level of stress that the average professional experiences, therefore increase their productivity and output.
Freelancers in general are planning for the future evolution of our work-world faster than the rest. In a 2017 survey done by Upwork, they estimated that the majority of the workforce will be working remotely by 2027. As the landscape is becoming increasingly digital, there is less of a need to have office buildings and on-site business locations for jobs that provide a service. This doesn’t mean that brick and mortar businesses will be obsolete, but rather they will become fewer. Businesses are looking at these decisions from a practical sense, saving money on working accommodations for employees, and in many cases improving the quality of work.
When it comes to freelancers who work remotely, you can’t help but have a great deal of respect for them. Their very livelihood depends on their work ethic. If they are not motivating themselves to seek out work opportunities, take action and provide quality work, then they can’t afford their living or work expenses. Many freelancers also take out start-up loans or small business loans to set their business foundation, so not only are they demonstrating financial responsibility, but a driving factor to getting a job done right.
So, when it comes to the stigma behind professionals who work from home or work remotely, the important aspect to consider nowadays is not where they are working from, but how they work. What is the quality of the service you are receiving? If you are treated with respect and provided with solid results, then all that matters about their work environment is that it inspires them to get the job done well, for you!
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