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5 Remote work trends to expect in 2018

by Kayla Matthews | October 29, 2017October 29, 2017 8:00 am PST

The idea of working from home is more popular than ever. Workers from around the U.S. are forgoing traditional jobsites in favor of virtual desks in increasing numbers — and it’s a trend that’s here to stay.

Although many attribute this newfound popularity to the millennial generation, it’s a trend that benefits everyone involved.

1. The expectation of real-time communication

Usually, work-from-home opportunities allow remote employees to work on a time schedule that suites them. As long as you’re getting your work done, companies are generally willing to let remote employees work flexible hours.

However, as more employees move to remote work, it’s likely we’ll see greater emphasis placed on a collaborative cloud environment, wherein remote employees will work together in real time from their separate locations. This still is unlikely to result in a rigid working schedule, but we’re like to see more employers dictate that employees make themselves available during certain timeframes.

This makes sense when you consider the need for team meetings, phone calls, etc. The only difference is that, rather than going to a meeting room, employees can meet together virtually to discuss their projects.

2. Using co-working and shared entrepreneurial sites

Co-working and shared working spaces are a boon to the remote worker.

When you want the freedom and flexibility of working from home, but still crave the daily interaction of a traditional workplace, the co-working office is the ideal compromise. Many different apps and utilities make it easy to find a site near you, both online and on your mobile device.

Working alongside other remote workers and entrepreneurs can also boost your morale, drive your productivity and give you new ideas for the future.

Some worksites are populated with unmotivated, unconfident and pessimistic employees who only bring you down. This scenario is never the case when working in a shared environment with self-motivated professionals who share your similar interests and work habits.

3. More professional interactions on social media

Social media is also experiencing explosive growth, especially concerning professional networking. Entrepreneurs and experts are flocking to sites in record numbers, while others are taking advantage of the technological tools that exist outside of their favorite social media sites to maximize their exposure.

Utilities like Talla let you coordinate your work with your remote teammates. It’s fully compatible with Google Apps and Office 365, so you won’t have to learn any new platforms, and it lets you track office activities, human resources functionality and even monitor social media on your behalf.

4. Automated managerial and supervisory duties

We’ll also see a rise in managerial and supervisory automation during 2018.

As employees continue to turn to remote work for full-time career opportunities, some companies don’t have enough senior-level support to monitor them all.

Recent studies by Gartner indicate more than 3 million global workers will be supervised by an automated manager by 2018, or, as they describe it, a “roboboss.”

To complement their automated managers, many employers turn to third-party companies to cover their next-gen communication needs. These work well for small and medium-sized businesses that want to embrace mobile connectivity and cloud collaboration without investing a fortune in new infrastructure.

5. Increased familiarity with technology

But the growing trend of remote work requires something from the employees, too.

While a basic level of familiarity with computers and technology is enough for much of the current job market, workers need to hone and refine these proficiencies to keep up with 21st-century demands.

As employers become more comfortable with the idea of their staff working from home, they’re likely to assign even greater responsibilities — and they’ll depend on you to know your way around the necessary technology.

You should have a clearer picture on some of the benefits afforded to workers and employers alike through work-from-home opportunities, but there are other advantages, too.

Eliminating the morning commute for even a small portion of our nation’s workers will have a significant impact on carbon emissions and pollution throughout the country.

Given the recent push toward environmental protection and sustainability, as well as the direct advantages to the modern workforce, it’s hard to see the current remote job market as anything but beneficial.

Images by Rawpixel, Rawpixel and Rawpixel


Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a writer and tech blogger, talking about connected devices and smart tech on websites like MakeUseOf, VentureBeat, Motherboard and...

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