July 13, 2022

Making the case for remote working

The other day I stumbled across this article from Airbnb about helping hosts create the space for remote worker guests.

How to make your space comfortable for remote workers – Resource Centre - Airbnb

From a fast and stable internet connection, to a proper coffee machine and dedicated work area, the giant was listing all the amenities that would make a property listing more attractive for a remote worker.

The reason why Airbnb is doing this is because they are noticing a huge shift in how people book travel. 1/5 of all travel booked post pandemic is for longer stays meaning people who travel while working remotely.

This change is palpable pretty much everywhere. Both my husband and I are fully remote and let me tell you, it’s transformative.

Remote work allows us for more flexibility, better work life balance and more opportunities. I am based in Birmingham while being full time employed by a Leeds agency. My co-workers are spread not just across the country but across the continent.

Now that our household has switched to fully remote working, the world is pretty much our oyster as to where we work from physically. We have a toddler so our circumstances are a bit different. We can’t just pack a bag, grab the laptop and hop on a plane to go work from Italy for example. But we still have opportunities that we didn’t have while being office based exclusively. We are now entertaining the idea of travelling to Bulgaria for a few months where my parents can look after our son while Axl and I work from there. We can spend evenings and weekends with the family.

Another great thing about remote work is the flexibility around childcare. We don’t get much support when it comes to our toddler so having the opportunity to plan work around our family is critical. Last week the little man came down with an illness and he couldn’t go to nursery. Ordinarily this would have meant that myself or his dad would have had to have the week off to look after him. But since we’re both home already we managed to plan our days in such a way that we both worked and both looked after him. Was it exhausting? Yes. But it meant that we could do work and look after our child on our own terms.

While remote work doesn’t automatically mean perfect work-life equilibrium, it does allow for more flexibility and better life satisfaction. I feel more in control of my life. I don’t waste time commuting, I don’t have to choose between wrapping up projects for the day and tucking in Ezekiel in bed for the night. I can do both. I can simply be there for the bed time routine and then pick up work again from the kitchen table while hubby cooks.

But remote work doesn’t just mean workers are happy. It has huge benefits for employers too. You are no longer limited to hiring people who live within a reasonable proximity of the office. Instead your hiring pool is literally limitless. You can hire the right people, with the right skills irrelevant of whether they are in the same town, country or even continent as you. When I interviewed for my current role (over a Teams video call) I was sat at home in Birmingham while the hiring managers were in London and Phuket (Thailand) respectively. I am currently working with a team member who is based in Cambodia and my line manager is off to Portugal for a few months where. All the while our day to day work responsibilities continue to tick away completely undisturbed.

You can see why there’s such a huge appetite for remote work. Whether you want the flexibility to travel, manage work around childcare or you just want to feel more in control of your own life, remote works gives us the unique opportunity to amalgamate business with pleasure. The lines between our work selves and our out of office selves become more and more blurry.

This is the future of work.

Background pattern