COVID-19 has brought about numerous changes in our daily lives, but perhaps one of the most significant has to be the move towards more remote working. Employees who have always commuted to the office are now being encouraged to work from home, and, while the shift has been a dramatic one, and arguably, not without its problems, it has also highlighted new possibilities for the future.
As big-name organisations like Microsoft are publicly stating that they are making home working options a permanent feature for their employees, the question now arises as to whether remote working is going to be the way of the future.
For entrepreneur and business owner Roman Taranov, however, the benefits of remote working were never in question. For his international team of workers, working from home has always been the norm, and Taranov credits this way of operating as being instrumental in his organisation’s success.
A Growing Trend That’s Hard to Shake
While some employees have missed the morning commute to the office, many more have seized on the opportunity to work from home with relish. Millennials and Generation Z workers are among those who have particularly enjoyed the experience of remote working and who are most likely to be keen to continue with this employment model even after the global pandemic is a distant memory.
With these two groups being the most prevalent and fastest growing groups within today’s workforce, it isn’t too hard to see why dramatic changes to the world of work appear to be on the horizon, with more companies than ever before beginning to embrace the potential of home working.
Even before the coronavirus crisis, more younger workers were keen to exploit the possibilities of working outside a conventional office. Coworking spaces have become a boom industry, and established corporations have begun to adopt hot desking policies. There are even some companies which exist solely because of their telecommuting workforce. With this in mind, it’s clear that the standard working environment is no longer an undisputed norm.
Although remote working is no new concept, it has become far more prevalent in recent years due to the latest technological advances. Now, with cloud systems, video conferencing and super-fast broadband, it isn’t too surprising that, now the majority of office workers have now experienced the benefits of home working for themselves, they are keen to continue with this way of life. A younger generation of employees are determined to work to live rather than live to work, and they see remote working as their way of achieving this goal.
A huge advantage to working remotely is that you care not restricted by the geography, however time zones are a consideration to take into account. For a team to work effectively together, there has to be a level of cohesion in the working hours, and doing it this way is much faster and less expensive when you are broadening your reach to multiple cities and countries.
For example, someone in the UK collaborating on a project in real-time can be within +1 or +2 hours of other workers (in Germany or Spain), but someone who is +9 or +12 will not work as effectively (Japan or Australia). There’s also the benefit that being in Europe you are only ever a couple of hours away from millions of other workers, where work rates can be cheaper such as Eastern European countries like Slovakia, Romania and Moldova.
The Benefits of Remote Working
It goes without saying that remote working isn’t without its challenges, but it certainly offers more than its fair share of benefits.
For workers, working from home offers the major advantage of slashing commuting time to zero. This is great news for those who often have to spend hours in lengthy traffic jams, or endlessly waiting for crowded trains and buses. Of course, with fewer commuters comes benefits for the environment too, as carbon footprints decrease substantially.
With home working also comes far greater flexibility and the improved work/life balance that is so important to workers of all ages, but especially those from the up-and-coming Gen-Z workforce. Remote working ensures greater autonomy – the chance to choose which tasks to do when – and this results in higher productivity as employees arrange their own schedules that fit around their commitments and lifestyle. This, in turn, boosts motivation, ensuring a happier workforce and a more successful organisation all around.
For businesses too, the benefits abound. A remote workforce means reduced need for office space. Indeed, there may be no need to run a physical office at all. Also, a happier workforce means reduced staff turnover, reduced recruitment and training costs, and, of course, a more profitable organisation due to higher productivity and staff motivation.
All of this is something that Roman Taranov understands extremely well. He has seen first-hand just how beneficial having a remote workforce has been, not only for his own company’s profitability and success, but also for his employees. By giving them the flexibility to work from home, he has enabled them to enjoy the work/life balance that they desire, and to experience the greater freedoms that this modern way of working permits.
Remote Working for a Broadened Worldview
For some workers, remote working offers the possibility of spending more time with family and loved ones. For others, it gives more flexibility to pursue their ambitions and expand their mind. This is what appeals most to Roman Taranov. After all, it was remote working that allowed him to establish himself within his entrepreneurial field and to achieve the success that he enjoys today.
At the age of 18, Roman decided to give up on his law degree and to travel the world while working online in the technology sector. For two years, he capitalised on remote working while he broadened his horizons, living in a number of different cities across Europe.
Without the ability to work remotely, he would never have been able to enjoy the benefits of discovering different cultures and lifestyles and would never have been able to develop an expansive worldview. He credits remote working for enabling him to have so many valuable life experiences which have proven to be instrumental in furthering his ambitions and helping him to succeed in his chosen ventures.
For this reason, Taranov has incorporated foundational values like balance, kindness and learning into his company’s mission so that his staff can enjoy all of the benefits of remote working that he himself was lucky enough to experience. Drawing on his own knowledge of just how powerful remote working can be, Taranov structured his organisation, Ruby Labs, in such a way that it could house a remote working team of worldwide experts while supporting a fully-flexible working culture, and fostering a strong sense of inclusion and diversity amongst his workforce.
By emphasising the ability to travel and to broaden one’s worldview, Taranov hopes to ensure that not only will his team have the quality of life that they desire, but also that his own organisation will reap the benefits of a positive, motivated and productive workforce.
Taking all of this into account, it isn’t too difficult to see why more organisations are beginning to cotton on to the positive potential of having a remote-first workforce. Where Taranovand other forward-thinking entrepreneurs have led, others are now increasingly likely to follow, and at a greater speed than ever before now that the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the fact that remote working isn’t just possible, but is, in fact, something that is highly desirable and highly profitable across a broad spectrum of business sectors.