The Remote Workspace Revolution
July 10, 2023
Not so long ago, the average working professional would commute to the same office space five days a week to collaborate with other employees in person. This standard workplace model has long remained the norm and not the exception, but several developments in recent years have pushed the future of work in a totally different direction. It’s the sudden rise of remote work, rapidly eclipsing the traditional employment landscape.
A remote workspace is any environment an employee utilizes to perform their daily tasks from a location outside the primary office. This can be a living room, hotel, or even a local coffee shop down the street. Equipped with a computer and basic internet, remote workers clock in from anywhere, receive correspondence or workflow directions through email, text messages, or secure communications platforms like Slack , and meet “face-to-face” using video conferencing platforms like Zoom.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a key impetus for the rise of remote work in America and globally. Stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, and other containment strategies saw many employees either quit their jobs outright or transfer into remote work roles to stop the spread of the virus. At the same time, much-improved video conferencing technology, workflow management apps, and other digital tools helped facilitate this transition by making it easier than ever to coordinate tasks between remote teams from virtually any location.
Keep reading to learn more about working a remote job, including what to expect, tips for designing a comfortable remote work environment, and how to overcome the challenges remote workers encounter.
Types of Remote Workspaces
With a laptop and WiFi access, almost any environment can be transformed into a remote workspace. Finding the right surroundings for your remote job depends entirely on personal preferences and the privacy or quiet you require. Here are some common types of remote workspaces.
Working from home is the most desirable choice for many remote employees. This convenient option eliminates the need for commuting and provides a controlled environment where you can keep distractions to a minimum. For many, working from a remote office at home offers enormous flexibility, making it much easier to achieve the perfect work-life balance.
This remote workspace resembles a traditional office without dress codes or strict company culture. Instead, a coworking space provides a comfortable, semi-casual setting for remote employees from various backgrounds and companies to work in a shared office. This is a sensible option for people who prefer working outside the home but need access to reliable internet, copiers, fax machines, and other equipment.
Cafes, Public Spaces, and Other Remote Locations
Employees may also work remotely from public spaces like cafes, parks, or restaurant patios. Libraries are ideal settings for remote work, as they provide a quiet environment without interruptions to focus on work and easy access to bathroom facilities.
For those who like to travel, working remotely from hotel rooms is another popular approach, and many accommodations offer private rooms for video meetings, access to copy machines or other remote work essentials.
Pros and Cons of Remote Workspaces
Some people share different experiences when they switch to a remote workplace. While working remotely has numerous advantages, some downsides are worth exploring. Here are some pros and cons for consideration when becoming a remote worker.
A key benefit of working remotely is its increased freedom and timing flexibility. Remote workers also stand to save a lot of money and time by reducing or eliminating their commute times. Some evidence suggests that employees enjoy increased productivity and creativity when working remotely. According to a study compiled by the Society for HR Management, over three-quarters of employees who worked remotely, even just occasionally, experienced an immediate boost to their overall productivity.
One of the primary disadvantages of working remotely is that it might be an isolating experience for some. The lack of in-person contact can be problematic, especially for extroverts who prefer connecting with individuals face-to-face. In addition, it’s not always easy to strike a healthy work-life balance when working remotely, especially if you’re using a home office and must juggle kids, a partner, or other responsibilities.
Designing an Effective Remote Workspace
For many remote employees, a dedicated workspace is essential. Try to choose a pleasant, private location with plenty of natural light. Your designated remote workstation should be comfortable and personalized to your unique ergonomic requirements. A decent adjustable office chair is vital to maintain proper posture when working from a seated position for hours.
If staying seated for extended periods causes discomfort, consider investing in a height-adjustable desk that lets you work while standing. It’s also essential to ensure your remote workspace has the software and hardware environment needed to get the job done, including fast internet, video or phone conferencing support, and various peripherals (e.g., external microphone).
Access to team management iOS apps can also make it much easier to manage workflows with other employees, especially if email and text messaging are the preferred modes of communication. Microsoft Teams also offers an invaluable suite of remote working applications to support video conferencing, team chats, or voice meetings over the phone.
Overcoming Challenges of Remote Workspaces
It’s not unusual to experience road bumps and challenges when transitioning to a remote workspace. Some common issues include a loss of motivation, difficulties collaborating with other remote workers, and possible burnout when specific problems remain unresolved.
To overcome the challenges, start by creating a consistent workday schedule and staying focused. Avoid personal phone calls or other distractions that can crop up until you’ve completed your objectives for the day. Taking micro-breaks every few hours with a walk outside can also do wonders for mitigating stress.
It Starts With Equipping Your Remote Workers
Remote and hybrid workplaces are slowly becoming more commonplace, making it critical for modern professionals to acclimate themselves to working outside the typical 9-to-5 office environment. With some preparation, it’s easy to adapt to this new working method without sacrificing mental well-being or productivity. In addition to benefiting employees by providing them with greater flexibility, employers can also benefit from the reduced absenteeism remote work provides while minimizing overhead costs on utility bills and office supplies.
At Firstbase, we provide your scaling small business or enterprise with all the tools needed to manage your distributed workforce’s remote workspace. Our solutions make it easy to automate many manual IT tasks—from onboarding to asset retrievals to every device update or replacement in between—freeing up IT resources for business-driving initiatives.
To learn more, request a demo.