Flexibility, And The Power of Remote Work

Waikit Lau Waikit Lau
Flexibility, And The Power of Remote Work

According to Owl Labs, 24% of remote workers are happier and more productive. Why?… Flexibility.

When you work remotely, you’re awarded freedoms you’ve never had in a co-located job. Those newfound freedoms lead you to be a stronger worker and a better employee.

What are these ‘magical’ freedoms that drive you to work harder and to be a better employee? Well, you get more control over…

  • Where you work
  • When you work
  • How you work

It’s surprising how much time in a co-located space you waste. Chit-chatting, mind-wandering, are commuting, represent only a few consequential work detractors. These detractors might seem small, but they add up.

Where you work

Co-located work is great, but it does have drawbacks. Don’t like the height of your desk? Don’t like who you sit next to? Don’t like the office noise? The list of little things that bother you, and distract you, at work is plentiful. The list of big things that bother you could be even worse.

With remote work, you’re free to work from the local coffee shop, your house, anywhere. All the “little things” that bother you at work go away and the “big things” fade into obscurity as well. Leaving you able to work hard, free from what you might define as workplace distraction.

Distractions aside, having the freedom to work anywhere lets you capitalize on every day. You won’t have to miss a siblings graduation, a friend's important game, or anything. Nothing is “too far” anymore; you and your workflow have adjusted to working anywhere.

Schedule your meetings anywhere, because anywhere is your new workspace. According to Owl Labs, increased focus and productivity are the top two reasons to work from home. Imagine being able to maximize focus and productivity every single day. That’s working remotely.

When you work

Earlier I said that as a remote worker you wouldn’t have to, “miss a siblings graduation, a friend's important game, or anything”…but what if it took place in the middle of the day?

On your typical remote team, members locations vary. When their locations vary, their time zones do as well (sometimes). That being the case, the traditional 9–5 workday isn’t as common, and you’re relegated to a more lax-schedule. Work your [required] hours, whatever they may be, get your work done, but don’t worry about the when as much. Remote culture is much more forgiving.

I’m hardly suggesting you take entire days off, but don’t feel bad if you have to “drive to New York to stay with family”. You can work from home, it’s expected, and you can work late to make up for drive-time.

Add to this the fact that, for the most part, commuting time disappears when you don’t have to commute at all. You recoup all the time you’d spend commuting and have schedule flexibility.

How you work

Your backpack? That’s now your office.

You’re free to build a workspace and workflow, that best suit you. If you want to build a desk setup that pushes you to work harder every day — you can. If you want to keep your office small enough to toss into your backpack — you can.

The freedom allowed by being able to roll out of bed, right into the workflow you’ve built is incredible. No more suit, no more tie, no more khakis even (well, sometimes…).

Many find that a comfortable work environment boosts their productivity. They sometimes fail to see that “environment” means far more than where you work. It’s desk-height, it’s a smell, it’s where your charge is in relation to you, it’s everything. As a remote worker, everything is in your control.

But in the end

Get your work done, and that’s what matters most. For some, working remotely can start off as an easy distraction. Over time you’ll adjust to the newfound freedom you have, but work completion is key to that formula.