Remote Work Is Becoming More Popular, And With Good Reason

More productive, better balance of life. What's not to love?

I have worked remotely for nearly two years and can say that it's really awesome. The set up enables me to get my work done while also avoiding a lot of the hassle that has come to be a normal part of commuting: waking up really early (not a morning person here), spending more money on gas, food, laundry, dry cleaning, etc. The work from home arrangement is simply the bomb-dot-com, and more Americans are starting to realize that as well.

It's hard to list all the ways that I've saved time and money, and probably become more productive. I'm able to wake up a bit later in the morning (good for this not-so-morning person), I save money on gas, car maintenance, food, laundry/dry-cleaning, and I ave time by cutting out the commute.

This is the way of the future, and some major companies are beginning to catch on. With the development of new technologies, all sorts of new opportunities for remote work are opening up, and it's no wonder why when you think about the benefits.

There are several factors fueling the growth of these fully virtual companies, experts say. The most obvious is technology. Tools such as Slack, Zoom, Dropbox and Quip, a document-sharing and editing platform, make it easier than ever to communicate with far-flung employees and track their performance and workflow more accurately, said Trina Hoefling, author of Working Virtually: Transforming the Mobile Workplace. "Technology is the enabler," she added, "so people starting businesses are realizing that they can launch a company without a physical location quite easily."

But perhaps the bigger driver in this new way of working is the demand from employees for a better quality of life. According to Gallup's "State of the American Workplace" survey, more than one-third of the respondents said they would change jobs in order to be able to work remotely some of the time. Younger employees — so-called millennials — especially start their careers fully expecting to find a position that offers more flexibility in how and where they work. After all, they've grown up with screens of all types and are used to connecting with family and friends remotely.

I can testify to this. At my previous full-time job, I was able to wake up about half an hour before I had to start working and take my time logging on for the day. I didn't have to worry about a commute, with traffic and terrible drivers and weather, and all those additional variables. And one of the greatest things about it was that once I was done with my shift, I was already home!

At my current job, I am more flexible with my hours; I'm able to make my schedule as I see fit. And that's just great because my work adapts to my lifestyle rather than the other way around. Because of that, I never feel cramped for time because I can arrange my schedule pretty easily. I'm generally on a regular schedule that I keep myself to, but if ever needed I can change it up as long as I get my work done.

Remote work simply is the way of the future. There will be some things lost like office camaraderie and such, but oftentimes work-from-home employees are more productive than in-office employees. The added productivity and the better work/life balance seems to benefit all parties involved. And I can say from experience that it really is great. The set-up isn't necessarily for everyone, but if you're okay with some solitary work time, it might be worth considering.

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