With technological innovation, being connected to people around the world has never been easier. This connectivity has led to a steep rise in remote work. Digital nomads are now making their living with nothing but their laptop in their backpack and some good Wifi connection. However, one of the main downsides of working remote was loneliness. To combat this, and create a community for digital nomads – co working spaces were created, which has become a key feature of remote work.
Over the years, several trends have arisen in the remote work world that help define its personality.
1. Massive growth and scaling fast
(WeWork office in Singapore)
Remote work is no longer just a fad. It’s become one of the biggest trends in the working market. More and more people are quitting their office jobs in favour of working at their own schedule.
A number that has more than doubled since 2015, there are over 18000 co-working spaces around the globe, with approximately 1.7 million people working out of them. The numbers are only expected to rise, with studies showing that by 2020, there will be 3.8 million individuals working out co-working spaces.
WeWork, a company that provides shared workspaces for remote workers, has grown massively since its conception in 2010. They now have over 30,000 members and some would even argue that it is becoming a corporation!
2. Big money is involved
What started as taking out personal loans, WeWork raised 17 billion dollars – which also involved funding from large investment banks such as Goldman Sachs.
This comes as no surprise given the rise in numbers. Remote work is no longer just working from home or from a beach that has optimal Wi-Fi. Coworking spaces have now become extremely sophisticated to provide their workers with maximum comfort.
Even corporate is joining in to reduce costs and increase profit margins. Around 52 of the big 500 firms have moved some of their workers to co-working spaces. Firms such as Microsoft and IBM have actually leased proper offices in co-working spaces given the sheer number of employees that are working remote for them. Some have even built their own co-working space to let creative energies flow and take a break from daily tasks!
Don’t love the office vibe?
Don’t worry! Cafes, hotel lobbies and even art galleries are all investing in the co-working trend. Not only do they provide all the amenities required to get work done but the ambience is also far more relaxed (and perhaps even fancier!) to a co-working space.
3. Collaboration Craze
(Microsoft co-working space in the Philippines)
Remote working is not only beneficial for employees but it is also beneficial for employers. Even big firms are joining in to reduce costs and increase profit margins. Around 52 of the big 500 firms have moved some of their workers to co-working spaces. Firms such as Microsoft and IBM have actually leased proper offices in co-working spaces given the sheer number of employees that are working
At coworking spaces, you often get to meet people from all over the globe. This gives you an insight not only into the different kinds of work that people do but also allows you to understand different perspectives that people have about the world. This knowledge is extremely valuable. More often than not, hearing other people’s stories does not only inspire you but it also allows you to form a very valuable network of alliances. Furthermore, collaboration has become much easier with tools [add link here to other article] such as Google Hangouts and Slack!
This collaboration craze is the reason for events such as the Remote Work Summit and Running Remote conferences. Curiosity about the remote life is running high, with programs such as Remote Year gaining more traction than ever. Internships are also now being geared towards providing the remote work experience with firms such as Start Me Up allowing interns from all over the world to experience Bali – one of the best places for digital nomads.
The power of collaboration can’t be doubted. Rocketspace, a dedicated tech co-working space, has been to the place of conception for several successful businesses such as Spotify and Uber.
4. Traditional industries are going remote
Working remote is no longer just for entrepreneurs and full-time corporate workers. Workers from traditional industries such as Medicine and Law are also going remote! Using the power of the internet, doctors are now practicing from remote corners of the world by just analysing the description of the patient’s symptoms!
Docbox, for example, is an online health consulting service, that uses chat and video services to help diagnose patients. The local clinic can gather information and put it up on the database which the doctor can use to help diagnose the patient!
5. Social causes and involvement in the community
(Molengeek in Molenbeek)
With connectivity, there is also now greater awareness about the social and environmental issues that exist. Co-working spaces have often done their part to contribute to the betterment of the world. Some try to be more environmentally friendly. For example, Huckletree in London is built from sustainable and eco-friendly products and there is also a strict waste management policy in place. Others are aware of social unrest around them and try to do their small part. Molengeek, for example, was established in the crime ridden and impoverished area of Molenbeek in Belgium to bring the community together and work towards making it a better place.
6. Measures and Metrics
One of the major trends in remote work is the way performance is measured. It is no longer about the number of hours you put in but instead about the work that is produced! Setting in place OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) has massively changed the way we measure performance. They’re frequently set, tracked, evaluated and most of all they are transparent. Therefore, everyone can see the goals you’ve set. This allows you to create alignment and engagement around measurable goals! And if you’re off track, you always have support to help you get back up!
With all of these trends it is clear that remote work is indeed going to take over the world!
Written by Pooja Zaveri