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According to the "State of Remote Work 2021" study conducted by Owl Labs, 46% of the people surveyed were willing to accept a salary cut of up to 5% for the opportunity to work remotely on a full-time basis. These figures indicate that remote work is here to stay!
Since the 2020 pandemic, many professionals have been forced to work from home and have noticed the comfort of attending meetings in slippers, or being able to adapt work schedules to family needs.
According to the IT Labor Market Report 2022, 90.9% of people working in technology want to be more flexible and perform their tasks from home. Argentina is no exception. According to the study conducted jointly by Microsoft Argentina and the University of San Andrés, 77% prefer to work in a hybrid way and 18% choose to work completely virtually.
Similarly, an increasing number of organizations are moving to fully remote work models. The report published in 2022 by HRStudy indicated that 40% of small, medium-sized and large companies in Latin America prefer this modality.
In this article we will tell you what remote work is, and its advantages for freelancers and company managers. We will also talk about its disadvantages and finally, we will tell you what we do at XOOR to overcome the obstacles that are presented with this type of work.
In this article:
At XOOR we understand that the main difficulties of remote work involve building a sense of belonging, achieving a cultural fit and generating a good working environment. One of the biggest challenges when we work remotely is to build good communication habits, avoiding misunderstandings, and to help our team members fulfill their responsibilities.
To overcome each of these obstacles, we implement concrete actions that, although they have shown very good results, we continually monitor them to see if we can improve them.
Regarding aspects related to the working environment and building a sense of belonging, we have been carrying out three specific strategies. The first strategy is called "Selfie Fridays", which initially involved taking a photo every Friday at 3 p.m. This practice has evolved to include sharing images related to specific themes, such as our first day of school, favorite childhood cartoon, or a picture from our last vacation.
By encouraging team members to share photos and stories, "Selfie Fridays" provides an opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal level, and can help to build trust within the team.
The second initiative is "After-Work meetings". These are activities within working hours intended to bring us together virtually to participate in a game. Sometimes there are prizes for those who win, other times we all are sent by delivery something delicious to enjoy that afternoon while we participate in the event. If you want to know more about this activity you can click here.
We also hold "Recreational Face-to-Face Meetings". Currently there are 3 important events where we meet to hug each other: XOOR's birthday, the year-end party and the leaders' retreat. For the first two, all the people who make up the company get together in a city to share a meal, play, dance, participate in raffles, a tournament and in some cases there may be a private show.
For the leaders' retreat, those who lead the different areas of the company meet during a weekend to work on aspects to improve, exchange successes and obstacles, and strengthen the group. In addition, we dedicate a special moment to reinforce our values so that they can then replicate them on a daily basis with their teams.
In terms of enhancing communication, we focus on organizing conversational channels, providing specific spaces for projects and tasks, and other channels for more relaxed conversations. In turn, we hold daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly meetings with the whole team, with part of it, between peers, and leaders. Moments of interaction are scheduled, either for purely work-related issues, or to give and receive feedback, or to get an idea about the team's feelings and thoughts.
In those meetings, we analyze whether each collaborator has achieved their goals, if they exceeded them or not. Also, we actively listen to their demands and needs, and work together to come up with strategies that will help meet deadlines and continue to increase performance and productivity.
Remote work, also known as telecommuting or teleworking, is a flexible work arrangement where team members can perform their tasks from any location. Whether it's from home, a cafe, an office, or a coworking space, remote work allows individuals to work from anywhere in the world.
While remote work was once confined to the technology industry, it has now expanded to other fields. Newspaper and editorial offices, accounting and legal service providers, marketing and advertising companies, and even real estate agencies are increasingly adopting this flexible work model.
If you've made it this far, you may be wondering: how can I get a remote job? With more and more companies adopting this flexible model, there are plenty of remote work opportunities out there. The ideal way is to start searching online, on platforms like LinkedIn, Workana, Freelancer, and specialized websites like Zonajobs or Upwork. There are numerous options available, some of which focus on specific fields such as design or software development.
To increase your chances of finding remote job offers, it's essential to keep in mind which roles are currently in demand. Some of the most wanted remote jobs worldwide include Frontend, Backend, and Full-Stack development, DevOps, UX/UI design, digital strategy, and product management.
It's also a good idea to identify the highest paying remote jobs. Currently, programming ranks at the top of the list, but it's also worth paying attention to the emerging field of artificial intelligence. As this technology advances, it will likely generate new positions in the near future, creating a high demand for skilled professionals.
Remote jobs are often an excellent option for freelancers and independent professionals who don't work under an employment contract. Some of the remote work benefits are:
Save time and money on transfers. Since services are provided to different companies at the same time, going to offices would be very costly. In addition, we do not always accept proposals from local companies; on the contrary, this modality allows us to work with people and firms in any part of the globe.
Travel the world. It is possible to have a stable income source, fulfill your obligations and travel. The only thing to keep in mind is that due to the different time zones, it is necessary to organize the working day, the hours of rest and touring.
Have flexible schedules. In traditional face-to-face jobs, which have a fixed schedule, it is quite complicated to attend a doctor's appointment or go to the bank. When working remotely, since everything is more adaptable, it is possible to start and finish our workday later or earlier, take time off for appointments or to run errands, and handle unexpected situations more efficiently.
Achieve a better balance between work and personal life. Flexible working hours provide more time for recreational activities and for sharing moments with family or friends. It allows us to make adjustments in our day-to-day work, so that we do not miss any meetings or school events, can take our children to their activities or welcome a visiting relative.
It is important to mention that all people are different and that some will find disadvantages. Especially those who find it difficult to be disciplined, who are easily distracted, or who need to be in contact with other people, as remote work can become very lonely. However, there are mechanisms to overcome these issues, such as time tracking, active breaks, or meeting colleagues at a coworking, a house or cafe.
That is why it is key to analyze the pros and cons of remote work before reaching a decision.
Many business owners or management teams also choose to operate their companies remotely, as it is an excellent option especially for those who are starting out. Some of the advantages are:
Lower costs: by not having to maintain a physical office, you save on rent, utility services, cleaning, maintenance and office supplies.
Better access to talent selection: remote work allows access to worldwide talent, which makes it possible to find the most suitable individuals for each position.
Greater flexibility: remote work allows management to be more flexible in terms of work schedules and staff locations, which leads to increased employee satisfaction and retention.
Increased productivity: a Great Place to Work® survey of 715 organizations, representing more than 3 million U.S. employees, found that remote work can be more productive than going to an office because people are willing to put in more effort. The study analyzed 6 months of work and found a significant increase in productivity because employees were able to perform more tasks without having to commute daily or attend long face-to-face meetings.
Higher safety: remote work avoids risks on the way to office and also prevents exposure to contagious diseases.
It is important to acknowledge that the lack of face-to-face meetings can present a significant obstacle. Without fluid conversations that include body language such as eye contact, smiles, and hand gestures, communication can be negatively impacted. This may lead to confusion or even misunderstandings that can have a detrimental effect on team dynamics.
Some remote workers state that the biggest challenge of not attending an office is setting clear boundaries between work and personal life. It can be difficult to manage to "switch off" and take adequate free time.
Moreover, while remote work offers more autonomy and independence, it also requires self-management and discipline. For people who struggle with being organized or adhering to deadlines, it may be challenging to meet their goals and deliverables.
In some cases, when operating from a remote workplace, it may be more complicated to access the resources and tools needed to perform tasks, which can affect quality and productivity.