In the spring of 2020, it seemed like workplaces (and everything else) changed overnight. Offices were empty and workers logged into work from spare bedrooms and kitchen tables. Even though it seemed sudden, the shift to remote work and distributed work opened the path to the future of work.
Remote work has been on the rise even before the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated that shift. Now, more workers are enjoying elements of the "future of work" like more flexibility, independence, and productivity. It’s also clear that remote work is here to stay.
As a result of the move to remote work, we can expect to see more changes in the future of work trends that will make workers’ lives better.
Here are ten things that highlight what the future of work actually looks like:
1. A workplace that works for you
Instead of commuting to an office every day, remote work lets workers and teams choose what fits them best. Workers can leave exhausting commutes and high rent behind. When you’re not tied to a desk, you can complete your work from anywhere. Your office could be poolside, in a coffee shop, or at your kitchen table.
If you and your team need an in-person brainstorming session, you can schedule time for working from a shared workplace while still keeping the rest of the week for remote work.
Regardless of where you do your work, you’ll be better able to build a way of working that is best for you.
2. Working hours that fit you & your life
Remote work can give you more say over your work schedule. Instead of working a 9-to-5 workday, you can choose the hours that are the best fit for you. For example, if you are a morning person, you can start work earlier in the day since you’ll spend less time commuting. If you do your best work later in the day or at night, you can have a later start and stay logged on after your team members are done for the day.
Both early birds and night owls will (finally) have the chance to work the hours they enjoy the most. By adjusting your hours to be a better fit for your life, you can make more time for your family, friends, and hobbies.
3. More flexibility in communication
A key benefit of remote work is getting work done without being constantly connected to people. You can work independently and still have a team to reach out to for questions and discussions.While many of today’s tools are focused on synchronous (real-time) work, we know that remote and distributed teams need more flexibility.
Rock built a productivity platform for distributed teams and any changes in the future of work. It’s also one of the first tools to feature both synchronous and asynchronous communication styles in one place.
Synchronous communication, like meetings, calls, or messaging, is real-time. Asynchronous communication, like task boards, lets someone respond when it’s convenient for them. With a tool that gives you both communication styles, you can focus on work without worrying that you’re out of the loop.
4. Fewer meetings
The future of work reserves meetings to when strictly necessary. People can move towards relying on asynchronous work that is heavy on documentation to get work done. This allows remote workers to stay connected and informed without having to sit through too many meetings.
Instead of having a meeting to decide who gets which assignment, tasks and projects can be assigned through a task board. Task management is a great alternative to continuous meetings, as everyone can give updates that can be retrieved later on.
5. Focusing on tasks, not punching a timecard
Because remote work is asynchronous by default, the focus of work shifts to achieving results instead of clocking in for a certain amount of time. The future of work is more results-oriented.
People can focus on achieving results rather than worrying about if you’ve been logged on for the right amount of time. This allows everyone to get more work done while being less stuck to time slots.
6. A shift to a more collaborative culture
While working remotely, email can be an ineffective communication method that makes it hard to connect with enough people.
Remote work tools are often better suited for teams that work across timezones and geographical regions. They make it easier to work with team members and external partners. With a variety of communication options, you can choose what works best for the task at hand.
7. More job opportunities & fewer geographic limits
The nature of remote work means opportunities are not limited to expensive cities. Anyone can apply for jobs, no matter where they live.
You’ll have more options that don’t require you to relocate or spend a lot of time away from family. With more accessible work opportunities, you’ll be better able to pursue your passions and career.
8. The future of work has reliable documentation
With remote workers and distributed teams, the future of work will rely heavily on documentation. Documentation makes it easier to see the work that you’ve completed. You’ll be able to get a high-level view of everything you’ve accomplished with tools like task boards and notes.
Task boards, notes, and shared Google Drive folders will help you make sure that none of your work gets missed. Documentation features also make sure that important details don’t fall through the cracks. With a better overview of what you’re working on, you can get the satisfaction of crossing things off your to-do list with tasks completed in a monthly sprint.
9. More opportunities for continued education & development
Online courses, seminars, and development opportunities have only gotten more popular during the pandemic. As these growth and development options have become more widespread, they’ve also gained more respect in corporate environments.
With a flexible schedule, you can pick up new skills and develop your existing talents to grow more and reach your future goals.
10. Less stress
Asynchronous working styles make it easier for you to disconnect from work. You can spend a lot more time of the future of work from home. This means that you can turn off your devices and grab a coffee, work out, or chat with family and friends during work breaks.
Because asynchronous working styles don’t rely on real-time interactions, work tasks are often better defined. With clear direction and communication, you’re less likely to get burnt out.
The future of work looks bright
Remote work has enabled a huge number of people to enjoy a more flexible and productive workday. Changes like this offer a positive outlook for the future of work. As workplaces continue to evolve, it’s critical to have tools that you can rely on.
With Rock, remote workers have a productivity platform they can rely on to keep their work organized and streamlined.