Contrary to how it seems, remote work didn’t start after the pandemic. It has always been around but was confined to some specific fields, primarily in the technology industry. The pandemic, however, brought the issue of remote work to the mainstream, where it has remained ever since. This mass adoption and, for many, the preference for remote work owe its thanks to innovative tools that have simplified virtual collaboration and made it more efficient and effective for work.
For folks in product development – notably UX design and programming – the availability of flexible jobs at top companies and startups couldn’t have come at a better time. The convenience it offers is why remote work is now seen as the future in that field. In addition, some of the benefits that remote work offers include:
– Employee retention: The advantage of working from anywhere has been shown to improve employees’ satisfaction and flexibility which leads to better retention rate and HR costs.
– Increase in diversity: As employees are given the freedom to plan their own work schedules, disadvantaged groups, e.g. working parents as well as folks living outside major cities or abroad, have a chance to grow their careers.
– Cost-saving: Overhead costs usually take up the bulk of most companies’ budgets. But remote work drastically cuts down costs as most workers operate off-location. This can mean those savings can go directly to increasing pay or benefits in a competitive hiring market.
But for all its advantages, remote work still comes with some misconceptions that need to be addressed. The major misconception is the prevalent belief that remote work should be done from home. Frankly, this is far from the truth. The essence of remote work denotes something that is independent of location.
According to Sharif Matar, a leader in UX design and product development who has been a founder and mentor at several successful startups, the fact that it is remote work means it can be done from anywhere, even abroad. So limiting it to just an act that is only carried out in the home negates and can defeat the true value of remote work.
Sharif has seen the industry evolve with remote opportunities, having helped design digital products used by millions at valuable brands like Chase, Olay, Ford, Marriott, NBC, Gartner, Google, and Apple, among others. He is even writing a book about his rich experience with remote work. He has also seen how distributed teams can empower leaders and business owners to source and retain the very best talent across more and more industries (not just tech). So for remote work to be an asset, accountability, flexibility, and autonomy needs to be at the heart of this new working framework.
Millennials have jumped on the remote work bandwagon, and signs have shown that they intend to stay there for a long time. Judging from the success of the venture, this turnaround and fast adoption should come as no surprise to industry watchers. So for companies, large and small, that are vying for millennials and other young professionals, flexibility and remote work will increasingly be the draw they can use to attract the best talent.
Please connect with Sharif on LinkedIn to learn more about the future of remote work.