Remote Working Era: A Time to Be Alive

Remote Working Era: A Time to Be Alive

The relationship between technology and work has been subject to change for a long time and little did we know what it would take for that to emerge. Of course, there has been a cultural paradigm shift in what society deems to be an “appropriate” workplace but trust me, working remotely has capitalised off that newly found freedom. Ask me how.

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has created many uncertainties for all, including the future of work. This has, in turn, propelled many organisations to consider restructuring their operational measures, and re-evaluating their plans, policies and strategies to survive the unexpected. While having the ability to work from outside of a corporate office has been feasible for a few decades, working remotely has now, more than ever, become mainstream.

According to Kourtney Whitehead, senior contributor to Forbes: “Experts have different predictions as to how and to what extent workers will return to their old office spaces.” She explains that even post the pandemic, some believe that “most employees will discover that working from home has become the new [everlasting] normal” and others forecast a slow but gradual return to their respective office environments. However, the million-dollar question posed to the many anxious and vulnerable is whether the pandemic will ever end and if so, when?

Unfortunately, the future remains uncertain as to whether these predications are true and closer to our current reality, for that matter. In light of this, the digital era has exploded, where digital technology has undoubtedly made it increasingly feasible for organisations, across various sectors and industries, to adopt the hybrid model and run their businesses as (un)usual. This transformation is made possible by the availability of advanced and efficient computers, video chat and conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Teams, cloud-based services, and smart broadband internet connectivity. These technological advancements account for the smooth transition to remote working.

In fact, The Ultimate List of Remote Work Statistics for 2021 points out that the number of people who work from home has increased by 159% since 2009. This number is likely to increase drastically in a few years as a result of more people expected to value flexibility and a healthy work-life balance when pursuing new job opportunities. Moreover, the study revealed that 85% of [business] managers believe that having teams with remote workers will become the new norm, where 77% of remote workers indicate that they are more productive when working from home.

So, you are probably wondering how COVID-19 and related lockdowns shape the future of work. It is worth noting that remote working is here to stay and is likely to accelerate, to a greater extent, the disruption of jobs within the highest physical proximity. Some companies are already planning to shift to flexible workspaces as remote work and virtual meetings are likely to continue, albeit less intensely than during the pandemic’s peaks and hard lockdowns.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic having radically changed the rules of the game, it is without a doubt that remote work has been around for some time, i.e. pre-COVID-19. And, global companies that do not support remote working and believe in the power of telecommuting have to consider the benefits of the new trend or the concept of hybrid work.

To further expand on this, SWM Communications, amongst other organisations, especially operating in the field of public relations, communications, social media, media and marketing, has, after careful consideration, resorted to being a full-service remote working company and it is flourishing in that (remote) space. Yes, it is possible.

Here are some helpful tips from our team on how to navigate and adjust your way to remote working conditions, especially during this period of never-ending lockdowns in the motherland.

The top tips are:

  1. “It is important to have structure. Get dressed like you normally would and go to work, even if it is in the room next door,” – Sandy Wardle, Managing Director.
  2. “Work-life balance is critical to the success of remote working. A healthy mind and body are essential as it enhances productivity, both professionally and personally. Time management is also crucial in finding a balanced system that works well for you and your line of work,” -Brin Naidoo, Account Director,
  3. “Discover your high productivity periods and build your work schedule around that. This way, you will be able to complete all your tasks effectively,” – Kea Matshidiso, Account Manager.
  4. “You can easily lose track of time while working from home. Be aware and don’t fall in the trap of continuously working overtime,” – Stacey Turnbull, Account Manager.
  5. “When you work from home, you can start to feel isolated, so it is important to stay in contact with your colleagues throughout the day, even if it is just for a quick chat or update,” – Amy-Leigh, Media Liaison & Production Coordinator.
  6. “Create a quiet and comfortable working space that is separate from your personal space to avoid distractions,” – Jade Eades, Graphic Designer.

The idea of waking up and living your life in a way that suites your personal and professional goals and objectives, along with your habits, may sound almost too good to be true. However, with remote working, this way of living is possible for you, despite your current geographical, social, or economic status.

Welcome to the world of remote working and remember that the secret to a healthy work-life balance is greater flexibility. Work smart!